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Egyptian Banks Reopen After Strikes, Unrest

An Egyptian policeman stands guard outside a bank in Cairo February 20, 2011
An Egyptian policeman stands guard outside a bank in Cairo February 20, 2011

Egyptian banks have reopened after being shut for most of last week, as Egypt struggles to revive an economy damaged by labor protests and an uprising the toppled its president earlier this month.

The banks opened for business as usual Sunday, the first day of Egypt's working week, following a series of government-ordered closures and shortened sessions in the weeks since the uprising began in late January.

Egypt's stock market remains closed after suffering heavy losses at the start of the turmoil. It is expected to reopen later this week, barring another bank closure or other developments.

Egypt's military rulers said Friday they will not tolerate any further labor protests, after the uprising inspired Egyptian workers to go on strike in multiple industries to protest poor wages and other grievances.

In a gesture to the opposition, a court in the military-run country granted official recognition Saturday to a small Islamist party that had been outlawed for 15 years by the government of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The Wasat, or Center Party, was founded in 1996 by activists who split from Egypt's main Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Center Party previously applied four times for an official license, but those bids were rejected by members of Mubarak's former ruling party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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