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Alcohol sales banned in Egypt's new suburbs residential areas: Regulator
Liquor sales licences in residential zones of new suburbs will not be issued; Regulator explains it is the residents' decisions
Bassem Abo Alabass, Saturday 16 Feb 2013
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Egypt will stop issuing licences for the sale of alcohol in some urban areas due to local complaints over safety, a government official has said.

The new measures will apply to recently-built settlements on the outskirts of Egypt's major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, the vice-president of the New Urban Communities Authorities told Ahram Online.

"It's not our decision. The cities' boards of trustees who are freely elected by the residents are demanding the closure of places which sell alcoholic products and have submitted numerous complaints of troubles the residents incur," Nabil Abbass said in a phone interview on Friday.

He went on to quote the residents who claim that liquor stores are the first places attacked in Egypt's security vacuum. Living close to the liquor store, therefore, puts the residents' lives in danger.

"The decision will affect only the residential areas of the new cities, while other areas, such as touristic, industrial and commercial zones, are still free from the ban," Abbass added.

NUCA also decided last week that existing liquor stores will not have their alcohol sales licenses renewed, according to Abbass.

"I don't know why that decision had stirred controversy, alcohol is already a taboo per se under all religions - and note that I do not belong to any political party," Abbass told Ahram Online.

The head of Egypt's Federation of Tourism Chamber, Elhamy Al-Zayat, tells Ahram Online that this decision will greatly affect foreigners and Copts living in the new cities.

"The decision is a clear violation of citizens' personal rights," Al-Zayat argued.

"There is no justification for this sales ban. The liquor stores opened in these cities long ago and nothing happened."

If the government ban liquor stores in new cities, it should reduce taxes levied on beverages firms in Egypt. "One of those manufacturers pays the government half a billion Egyptian pounds annually," he claimed.

In December 2011 President Mohamed Morsi decided to increase taxes on alcoholic beer from 100 per cent (with a minimum of LE200 per 100 litres) to 200 per cent (with a minimum of LE400 per 100 litres). He backed down on his decision after public criticism.

A recent report by The Economist magazine indicates that alcohol consumption in Islamic countries in the Middle East and North Africa region has risen considerably by some 72 percent between 2001 and 2011 against a global average of 30 percent.
 

 



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Harm Botje
13-03-2013 12:32pm
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taboo under all religions?
Mr. Nabil Abbass apparently does not know anything about other religions. Indeed, the Christian New Testament records as Christ's first miracle the changing of water into wine and wine is an important item in the Christian Last Supper rituals. Which begs the question if the vice-president of the New Urban Communities Authorities knows anything at all and how he got his post. Friends in high places perhaps?
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5



Shami
21-02-2013 04:10pm
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What a stupid measure!!
And what about political violence, fueled by former and new government, which caused some hundred of victims? Or corruption inside the security forces? Is it not more dangereous than consumption of alcohol? Just remember the last demostration of islamist, last week, under the slogan "Against the violence", where some images of Bin Laden were shown as well as the mother of Sadat's murder was presented as "the mother of the shahid (martyr) (sic) and demostrators applied for "iron hand" against the opposition? Another silly mesure of this team of no-good-for-nothing government. Alcohol in Egypt is usually drank at home, and even sellers delivery the order to client's house. Another step against people freedom that will satisfy only that troupe of bearded... La-wen rai7a, ya Misr?
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4



RobertKpl
17-02-2013 10:21am
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the more the Governement banns
I've visited Egypt for years. Today I stay away. The reason is so simple, the more your Government banns, the less I will come back to your country. It is as simple as that. Sorry
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3



butrus
16-02-2013 08:20pm
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alcohol bann
what are you expecting from islamists.you give them your electorate, so alcohol should be banned,belly dancing as well and women locked inside houses,turist wipe out off country, then life will be great for all moslems, copts could voluntarily change religion and from egypt will be heaveln on the earth.
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2



Karim
16-02-2013 03:46pm
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Religions fachism.
What will be next? Maybe women to ban))
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Dr.Feelgood
16-02-2013 07:11pm
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Religion fachism
Of course not, they only will be put into potato sacks!
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Dave
16-02-2013 01:16pm
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farce
So if you live beside a police station there is no problem, as they were broken into during the revolution and all the fire arms stolen, the locals must be delighted about that.
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