Abbasiya bakers feel the heat, slash production 40 pct due to clashes

Ahram Online, Sunday 6 May 2012

Last week's series of fatal attacks on protesters in eastern Cairo prompted nearly half the area's bakers to halt work, according to the chamber of commerce

Egyptians buy bread from a bakery in Cairo during last year's 18-day uprising (Photo: Reuters)

Bakers in the eastern Cairo district of Abbasiya felt heat of a different kind last week, as protests and a series of fatal clashes forced 40 per cent of the area's subsidised breadmakers to shut their doors, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Sunday.

The head of the bakeries division in Cairo's Chamber of Commerce, Farag Wahba, told Al-Ahram that tensions on Abbasiya's streets had a major impact on trade. Days of disturbances prompted bakers to freeze their operations, causing long rows of desperate customers at functioning bakeries in nearby safe areas, he said.
"From a total of 10 large bakeries about four were closed until Saturday. After the army took control of the streets they resumed work," Wahba told Ahram Online on Sunday.
Protesters demanding an end to army rule staged an open sit-in in front of Egypt's Ministry of Defence last week, with supporters of disqualified presidential candidate Abu-Ismail making up the majority of participants.
A series of violent clashes throughout the week involving rocks, tear gas and birdshot -- culminating with a military police crackdown on Friday --  left more than 15 killed, hundreds injured and a similar number arrested.
The ruling army imposed a curfew in the Abbasiya area from 11pm on Friday to 7am on Saturday.
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