February 7th, 2011
02:45 PM ET

Egypt's new Cabinet meets for first time as protests persist

CNN Wire Staff

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) - As protesters maintained a human chain at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday, many insisting they won't budge until President Hosni Mubarak steps down, the country's new Cabinet met for the first time.

The government also shortened the official curfew time, making it from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. - substantially shorter than it was last week, when the curfew began in midafternoon. In the two weeks of protests, the curfew has not kept crowds from staying in Tahrir Square through the night.

Signs of life returning to normal were spreading Monday, particularly with the reopening of more shops and banks. The Egyptian finance minister said the country will auction as much as 15 billion Egyptian pounds (about $2.5 billion) in treasury bills. A stock market representative said the market will reopen Sunday.

When asked why the country will hold the "imminent" auction during unrest, Radwan said he believes there is an international appetite for the bills because their monetary fundamentals are still strong.

The Central Bank of Egypt typically issues treasury bills every week, but has not done so since January 25 - the day anti-government protests began. The way international investors react to these bills could indicate how international investors gauge the situation in Egypt and whether investor confidence is actually returning.

A Google executive who had been missing since January 28 was relased Monday. Wael Ghonim tweeted, saying the new secretary general of the ruling National Democratic Party, Hosam Badrawy, was behind his release. Ghonim wrote that he "asked him (to) resign cause that's the only way I'll respect him."

The 14th day of protests comes after Egypt's vice president, Omar Suleiman, met with representatives of key opposition groups Sunday and offered concessions - including some that, if enacted, could bring dramatic change to the country.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. evren

    Appears the Obama administration has given a green light to the military plutocrats....in both countries, I dare say.

    February 8, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  2. Bob

    One of the factors that will determine whether this revolution will turn into a peaceful democracy is the sheer number of moderates against the number of radicals in Egypt. If there are millions of moderates in Egypt and a fews radicals, then it is likely to turn into a peaceful democracy... Egypt is mostly suni, the sunis are composed mostly of moderates as opposed to the shiite radicals that reside in Iran.. I do hope that the moderates that are pro-democracy and pro-peace get their leaders to get a foothold into this political process... The important factor is that the moderate egyptians are willing, ready and able to control the radicals...

    February 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  3. Shera LC

    This is so terribly sad.. These people deserve more from their country. Ive seen so much happening out there with your amazing coverage & frankly, it petrifies me to see total anarchy. Too many victims & too much damage & way too much violence! I was scared to see you get hurt Anderson.. When you are in someone's home every night (via tv) you become their vessel to the news & dont expect to see you being hurt by others who have become frantic. Please be careful out there! I thought you were on your way home.. I hope your being there has made some kind of difference to everyone you have come into contact with. Be safe!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm |