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Shopping frenzy ahead of June 30
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 25 - 06 - 2013

CAIRO - Anxiety over a protest campaign, planned by the opposition against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on June 30, has prompted frantic nationwide shopping, according to market observers and consumers.
Egyptian households are stocking up on necessary goods, fearing that the protests would develop into street violence, they say.
Morcos Fahmi, a 50-year-old employee at a local company, said that he had gone on a shopping spree prompted by a buying frenzy from all his neighbours.
"State of fear and worry about the future has made me start storing goods, although this costs me a lot," added Fahmi.
Egypt is increasingly tense in the run-up to the first anniversary of Morsi's taking office on June 30.
Morsi's supporters are pursuing a petition campaign to keep him in office. The term of Morsi, Egypt's first president-elect, ends in 2016. The opposition says he has failed to rule the country.
The pro-Morsi Tagarrad (be objective) campaign announced on Friday that its activists have collected around 11 million signatures.
A rival campaign called Tamarrad or (rebel!) has said it has collected 15 million signatures to withdraw confidence from Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, and push for early presidential elections.
Hassan Fahmi, a merchant, said food prices have doubled over the past week due to the pre-June 30 shopping spree. "Sales of food commodities have increased by 50 per cent," explained the 50-year-old trader.
Mohammed Helmi, a supermarket assistant in Cairo, said that the demand for basic foodstuffs, such as cooking oil, sugar, rice, flour and meat, have soared.
"People are afraid of any shortage in these commodities ahead of June 30, as was the case in the early days of the January 25 revolution," he added, referring to a 2011 revolt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
Helmi urged the public not to excessively buy goods lest they drive their prices further up or lead to a shortage on the market.
Minister of Investment Yehia Hamed told a recent press conference that worries about the June 30 protests "are exaggerated". "Investments in Egypt are safe," he added.
The Egyptian presidency, meanwhile, issued a report on Morsi's performance in his first year in office.
According to the report, the gross domestic product (GDP) rose in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2012/2013 from 1.8 per cent to 2.4 per cent, as investments grew during the same period from LE170.4 billion to LE181.9 billion.
Mona Gamal, a Cairo housewife, said that the people were worried about security breakdown on June 30, leading to massive looting and chaos.
"I bought some food and powder milk for my children in fear of what will happen on June 30," added the 41-year-old woman.
Morsi warned in an interview published on Saturday that state institution would stand firm against potential acts of violence during the forthcoming protests, which he hoped they would be peaceful. Morsi also vowed to "confront the counter-revolution", referring to Mubarak loyalists.
According to state media, Morsi recently convened ministers of defence, and the interior, as well as the chief of the Intelligence Service to review efforts to maintain peace and security ahead of the planned protests.


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