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Protesters storm Suez Canal conference
24 May 2013
Angry demonstrators break up a governnment-backed conference which aimed to showcase the Suez Canal Corridor development project to foreign investors.
Angry demonstrators yesterday stormed a governnment-backed conference in Port Said which aimed to showcase the Suez Canal Corridor (SCC) development project to foreign investors.
Reports indicate that the protest brought the conference to a halt.
According to local sources, the demonstrators were mainly workers from the Suez Canal Authority who believe that legislation which President Mohamed Morsi's government is currently trying to introduce will effectively diminish Egyptian sovereignty over the Canal and give substantial assets to foreign investors without sufficient return for the national economy.
Local reports quoted a protester as saying: 'The terms of the draft legislation that will govern the project don't guarantee any popular or legislative overview and leave everything in the hands of 15 board members appointed by the president.'
The SCC project, which will be operated through public-private partnerships (PPPs), aims to develop Egypt's three canal governorates – Suez, Ismailia and Port Said – by 2017.