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“The reason (for the lower ranking) is the lack of political stability in the recent past,” Morsi said.

He denounced those he said were spreading rumors that undermine the economy. “Those who talk about bankruptcy, they are the ones who are bankrupt. Egypt will never be bankrupt and will not kneel, God willing,” he said to a round of applause.

The central bank announced the introduction of a new auction system for banks buying and selling U.S. dollars, urging citizens to “ration usage” of foreign currency in favor of the Egyptian pound. It urged Egyptians to avoid speculation after a rush to sell the pound for dollars over concerns of devaluation this week. The central bank has burned through billions of dollars over the past two years to prop up the pound.

Morsi appeared to chide the opposition for not working with him, saying all sides must past through the crisis together. “We all know the interests of the nation. Would any of us be happy if the nation goes bankrupt? I don’t doubt anyone’s intentions. But can anyone here be happy if the nation is exposed to economic weakness?”

In attendance at the session were leading national figures such as Egypt’s new Coptic pope, Tawdros II, seated next to the country’s top mainstream cleric, grand sheik Ahmed al-Tayeb of Cairo’s Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning. The former head of the ultraconservative Salafi Nour Party and the head of the Muslim Brotherhood party were also seated front-row along with former interim prime ministers, the country’s defense minister and other members of Cabinet.