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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid