The head of the European parliament on Saturday called for a cessation of the bloc’s political and economic cooperation with Egypt following its Islamist president’s move to expand his powers.
“The European Union must make it clear that there can be no political nor economic cooperation without pluralist democracy in Egypt,” Martin Schulz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
“We cannot condone this coup,” he said, describing a sequence which has prompted many in Egypt and abroad to accuse President Mohamed Mursi of betraying the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
On Nov. 22, Mursi gave himself sweeping powers and placed his decisions beyond judicial review, sparking mass protests mirroring those that led to the fall of the previous regime.
On Nov. 30, Egypt’s Islamist-dominated constituent assembly rushed through a controversial draft constitution which rights groups say undermines the freedoms of women and religious minorities.
“The only thing such a regime understands is economic pressure,” said Schulz.
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Islamists turned out in the streets of Cairo to support Mursi.