Egyptian voters adopted a big-government constitution in a national plebiscite December 15, and it went into force December 26, according to Reuters wire service. Voters adopted the constitution by a 64-percent popular vote.
“I will make all efforts, together with you, to push forward the economy which faces huge challenges and has great opportunities to grow," Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said in an address announcing formal adoption of the constitution.
The new constitution guarantees that the Egyptian government will remain a major force in the lives of Egyptians, with guarantees of government health care, education, housing, pensions, food, etc., worthy of any European social welfare state. Article 70 of the lengthy constitution stipulates that:
Every child, from the moment of birth, has the right to a proper name, family care, basic nutrition, shelter, health services, and religious, emotional and cognitive development.
In addition, Article 67 guarantees the same to adults, including, “Adequate housing, clean water and healthy food are given rights” and it elsewhere guarantees that “The State shall provide social insurance services. All citizens unable to support themselves and their families in cases of incapacity, unemployment and old age have the right to social insurance guaranteeing a minimum sustenance.”
The Egyptian constitution requires massive government interference in the economy, promoting a national industrial policy: "National economy shall be organized in accordance with a comprehensive, constant development plan.” And while the constitution nominally prohibits socialism — “Nationalization shall not be allowed” — the prohibition is completely negated with the subsequent phrase: “except for in consideration of public interest in accordance with the law and against fair compensation. ” Government will control businesses, farmers, wage earners, and unions, at least indirectly:
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Photo of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi signing Egypt's new constitution into law: AP Images