Egypt postpones energy-saving curfew on shops, cafes
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Egypt postpones energy-saving curfew on shops, cafes

Minister says plan will come into effect next week

Egyptians relax outside a cafe in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Egypt’s capital prides itself on being city that never sleeps, with crowds filling cafes and shops open into the small hours. So the government is facing a backlash from businesses and the public as it vows to impose new nationwide rules closing stores and restaurants early. Officials say the crisis-ridden nation has to conserve electricity, but they also seem intent on taming a population they see as too unruly. (AP Photo)
Egyptians relax outside a cafe in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Egypt’s capital prides itself on being city that never sleeps, with crowds filling cafes and shops open into the small hours. So the government is facing a backlash from businesses and the public as it vows to impose new nationwide rules closing stores and restaurants early. Officials say the crisis-ridden nation has to conserve electricity, but they also seem intent on taming a population they see as too unruly. (AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian minister of Friday said the government in Cairo has decided to postpone by one week the imposition of a curfew on shops and restaurants that had been intended to save energy and bring order to the streets.

The curfew, which had been due to start on Saturday, sparked a broad backlash from businesses and the public. Few businesses will be exempted from the 10 pm closing time, including those with a tourism license and pharmacies.

Municipal Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen told private TV network Al-Hayat late Thursday that the plan will come into effect next week.

On Friday, the official Al-Ahram daily described Abdeen’s remarks as a reflection of “confusion” in a government under pressure from business groups and merchants.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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