Protesters opposing Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi fly a flag carrying the words 'Port Said State' (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday formally approved the reinstatement of Port Said's duty-free zone in hopes of quelling popular anger in the restive Suez Canal city.
Morsi officially approved the decision – No. 6 of 2013 – after it was ratified by the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament, currently endowed with legislative authority).
The decision essentially reverses a previous law, issued by former president Hosni Mubarak in 2002, which terminated the duty-free zone to the chagrin of local inhabitants.
Port Said has been in a state of unrest since 21 of its residents were sentenced to death in late January for their involvement in last year's Port Said stadium disaster, in which 70 rival football fans were killed. Subsequent clashes in the canal city resulted in the death of at least 40 people, including security personnel.