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Egypt Postpones Curfew for a Week
November 2, 2012

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In response to considered outrage, the Egyptian government has postponed the introduction of a curfew on shops and restaurants, but only for a week.

The idea of the curfew, designed to bring some sense of order to night street life as well as saving energy, has proved very unpopular with business owners and consumers in Egypt's largest cities. The curfew plan calls for all shops to close at 10 p.m. and all restaurants and cafes to close at midnight. The curfew would be nationwide, including large cities like Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor. Resort areas like Sharm el-Sheikh would be included, the government said.

Egypt has long seen restaurants that are open all day and all night. Tourists often spend their nighttime hours shopping and eating. Business organizations have argued that since many egyptians work night shifts, the introduction of the curfew will create unemployment at a time when the country is still struggling to find its economic feet after the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. Others have raised the possibility of an increase in civil unrest at a time when security forces are often in short supply.

The government has argued that the curfew would save about 3 billion Egyptian pounds each year in money that would otherwise be spent on electricity and other sources of power to keep those shops, restaurants, and cafes open.

The current government position is that the curfew will go into effect in a week, not right away.

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