Stores and restaurants resume work in Asmara

Radio Erena sources confirm that many of the restaurants, coffee shops and stores which were forced to close down in November and December have resumed their work.

More than a 1000 privately owned businesses were forced to close after being accused of foreign currency transfers (the hawala system).

These shops have now resumed their work, but only after paying substantial fines.

The fines varied, but some were as high has 100,000 Nakfa.

They also had to bear the costs of paying the salaries of their workers during the period of closure.

One store owner told Radio Erena: “the government is asking us to deposit all our money in the banks; but if we do that how can we work?

When we kept our money to buy raw material, the government shut down our stores saying that we get money from abroad.”

Many of the store owners were charged with dealing in foreign currency transfers and of evading requirements to deposit their income in local banks.

 

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