Port Said was decreed a free trade zone by late President Anwar Sadat in 1976 to boost the city economically, but former President Hosni Mubarak canceled the decree in September 1999, following allegations of an assassination attempt by a city resident.
Port Said declared civil disobedience two weeks ago, demanding retribution for 40 citizens who were killed in clashes with security forces in January. The clashes broke out following a death sentence issued against 21 city residents found guilty of killing 72 Ahly club fans in a football match in February 2012.
Morsy had attempted to calm the situation in the city by assigning a judge to head investigations into the post-verdict deaths, allocating LE400 million of Suez Canal revenues to developing Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, and reestablishing Port Said as a free trade zone.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm