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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs