Turmoil in Egypt hits the tourist trade

Here are some phrases from the video to help you understand it:


… ships stand idle
… chairs stacked up
… not a customer in sight
keep these places afloat with the money they spend
heading home
… the unrest has been catastrophic.

Restaurant owner:

Our restaurant didn’t rely on tourist clients as much as Egyptian ones…

Taxi driver:

… a bank loan
feed my family


Normal life has ground to a halt

Finance minister:

… the height of the tourist season
ramifications for the Egyptian economy (because) of what’s going on


… that the unrest will spread to oil producing countries…

Have you ever been to Egypt? If so, what were your impressions?

What do you think of what is going on in Egypt?

What will happen next?

Egypt unrest: Banks reopen after week of closure

Some banks in Egypt have reopened for a few hours after a week of closure in the wake of continued street protests.

It came as the government warned of the damage which continued unrest could do to the nation's economy.

"We want people to go back to work and to get paid, and life to get back to normal," army commander Hassan al-Roweny said.

Last week Credit Agricole Bank said the protests were costing the country at least $310m (£192m) a day.

Currency steady

Economists at the bank also revised down their economic growth estimate for Egypt this year from 5.3% to 3.7%.

Following a week-long closure, the Egyptian pound opened weaker against the US dollar, although not to the extent some traders had expected.

The currency was trading at about 5.90 to the dollar, slightly below the 5.8550 before banks were closed.

"I am confident that the market will be orderly," central bank governor Farouk el-Okdah had said late on Saturday before markets reopened.

As people clamoured to enter the banks, staff tried to establish some sort of system for dealing with their customers.

For the past week, with banks closed, there have been long queues at ATM machines as Egyptians sought to withdraw their money.

Tourism hit

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been holding talks with ministers to try to get the economy moving.

The Egyptian stock market, which remains closed, is down by about 20% since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, many shops have been closed during 12 days of protest, while some prices have been pushed up.

Trade Minister Samiha Fawzi Ibrahim has said exports were down 6% in January and that the authorities were providing extra food to try to stabilise prices and curb shortages.

Many factories in the major cities remain shut and state media said the stock market would not open on Monday, as had earlier been planned.

Last week Vice-President Omar Suleiman said one million foreign tourists had fled the country over the previous nine days, costing $1bn in lost revenues for a country where tourism accounts for some 6% of GDP.

Source : BBC News


Montse said…
I’ve never been to Egypt but it is one of the countries I would like to visit. I think that the Egyptians aren’t going to achieve Hosni Mubarak resign without using the violence. So they’ll have to wait until September. All activities have ground to a halt and a country can’t go on so for many days.
Of course I would like that all Arab countries were democratic but I think that isn’t possible.
Graham said…

I haven't been to Egypt either.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of all this. I doubt it is comparable to what happened in the communist East.

I think that the Egyptians aren’t going to GET Hosni Mubarak TO RESIGN without RESORTING TO VIOLENCE.

and a country can’t go on LIKE THIS for many days.

I would like that ALL ARAB COUNTRIES TO BE democratic/ I WISH ALL ARAB COUNTRIES WERE DEMOCRATIC but I think THAT IT isn’t possible.

Unlike Spanish we can't say "would like/ want that....":

want/would like someone to do something