News / Africa

Moroccans Demonstrate Against Gas Price Hike

Anti-government protesters from '20th February', the Moroccan Arab Spring movement, shout in front of parliament. Sep. 22, 2013Anti-government protesters from '20th February', the Moroccan Arab Spring movement, shout in front of parliament. Sep. 22, 2013
x
Anti-government protesters from '20th February', the Moroccan Arab Spring movement, shout in front of parliament. Sep. 22, 2013
Anti-government protesters from '20th February', the Moroccan Arab Spring movement, shout in front of parliament. Sep. 22, 2013
Reuters
Thousands took to the streets in Rabat on Sunday to protest against the recent hike in fuel prices introduced by the Moroccan government.
 
Prices of petrol in Morocco soared last week as the Islamist government began implementing a fuel price indexation system aimed at reforming oil subsidies and plugging a huge budget deficit.
 
The opposition parties, led by the Istiqlal Party, which withdrew its ministers from the cabinet, accused Islamist Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's government of making life harder for citizens during an already difficult economic period.
 
“These increases seriously affected the citizens’ pockets in a difficult moment, just after schools resumed and after the summer holidays and the holy month of Ramadan. We consider these increases as a solution that is cowardly and lazy. The government should find better solutions that are effective. It should find clear economic and strategic alternatives that don't affect the citizens and the poor classes,” said Abdelkader El Kihel, MP and Chairman of the Istiqlal Party Youth Wing.
 
The Socialist and Labour parties also joined the demonstration, in addition to some trade unions that were not happy with the government led by the Islamist Justice and Development Party.
 
“As a social and democratic party, we stand up alongside our people and our citizens. We utterly refuse these hikes because we deem that they are unpopular and not in the interest of the Moroccans,” said Nawfal Belmir, a Socialist party member.
 
Both the Istiqlal Party and the Socialist Party are trying to form a coalition against the government, while some trade unions, mainly in the transport sector, are threatening to organize a national strike that will paralyze the country.
 
Unemployed graduates, who demonstrate daily in Rabat, repeated their request to be employed by the government as civil servants.
 
“The message we want to send to the prime minister is that employment is a right. He should quit if he fails to find solutions to the requests of the masses in general and of the unemployed graduates, farmers and workers from all the Moroccan classes,” said Ibrahim Bouadi, a protester.
 
These young unemployed graduates are a regular feature of Rabat city centre, where they organize daily demonstrations and sit-ins.
 
In addition to the new protests, for the first time after a long absence the protest movement called “20 February” staged a small demonstration opposite the Parliament building to express its usual demands of social justice and human dignity and to protest against the official policies.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More