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News Analysis: Egypt's economy overburdened by ongoing violence

By Marwa Yahia (Xinhua)

08:51, January 31, 2013

CAIRO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's recent bloody clashes between allegedly anti-government protesters and security men sharply affected the tourism sector, crippled production cycle and added more pressure on the ailing economy through rising budget deficit and declining revenues and foreign reserves in the turmoil- stricken country.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians last Friday flocked to main squares in nationwide anti-government demonstrations to mark the second anniversary of the unrest that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, protesting against alleged undemocratic exercise of power by the current Islamic-oriented leadership and the controversial newly-drafted constitution.

Continuous violence over the past few days has killed dozens and injured over 1,000. The death toll in Port Said alone was about 40 due to riots over a recent verdict that sentenced 21 persons to death over a football riots that killed 74 last February.

"The recent clashes in Port Said led to total suspension in the trade movement in the vital city through which Egypt receives more than 30 percent of its imports," Ali Shokry, vice president of Egypt's Commerce Chamber, told Xinhua.

Official reports said the curfew in Port Said, which receives 2. 1 million containers annually, and Suez will negatively affect the trade movements.

The ongoing clashes accumulate more burdens over the national economy and the revenues of tourism sector, said Gamal Bayoumy, the secretary general of Arab Investors' Union.

"The foreign investors will be reluctant to enter the Egyptian markets," the expert warned, adding that the successive crisis and violent acts "disabled the country's production cycle."

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