Egyptians ignored calls for a nationwide strike on Sunday.

The planned protest was supposed to coincide with the 80th birthday of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power since 1981. 

The Egyptian government resorted to the stick and carrot approach and it seems to have succeeded in discouraging Egyptians from taking part in the strike.

Life in the city appeared normal, with heavy traffic and people going about their business.

This has been attributed to heavy security, with threats of harsh punishment against striking employees, and the pre-emptive 30 per cent increase in wages by President Mubarak four days ago.

So, do Egyptians tend to stay out of politics as long as there is food on the table, or do they feel intimidated by the state?

This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 17:30 GMT


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Source: Al Jazeera