Thursday, August 9, 2012

Egypt plagued by massive blackouts

A massive blackout hit many parts of the Egyptian capital on Thursday, briefly halting traffic on much of its crowded subway and delaying the start of trading on the stock exchange.

Egypt has been beset by frequent power outages across the country since the hot summer months began. The blackouts, together with water cuts, have enraged Egyptians, sending many to the streets to protest.

The decline in basic services have also led to criticism of the country's new President Mohammed Morsi, who is facing a slew of festering economic and social problems and a crippling budget deficit.

Morsi had promised to tackle during his first days in office problems affecting daily life, such as fuel shortages, lack of security and heaps of garbage that are piling up. Many of his critics say he has failed to deliver after 40 days as president.

Authorities have been hard pressed to explain the rising number of power outages, which have been particularly hard since the July 20 start of the holy month of Ramadan when devout Muslims fast dawn-to-dusk while coping with soaring temperatures. Read More