By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, August 10, 2012
A new financial scandal hits the administrative capital Rabat. According to the Moroccan daily Al Massae members of Rabat’s city council discovered that a public property has been rented to an American school located in Hay Ryad with the symbolic price of “One Dirham” a year for more than 45 years.
The price of the real estate in question is estimated to 65 billion centimes ($72 million) the equivalent of the capital’s total budget. The city council uncovered the matter when the American school submitted a request to extend the rental contract signed in 1967.
The city council has revealed earlier that the capital is running out of resources. The lack of sustainable revenues has always crippled the council’s capacity to renovate public facilities and to improve public services such as sanitation and cleaning services.
In the midst of this mayhem, one of the city counselors lifted the veil on another fund dilapidation scandal concerning a 33 meter square building rent at the symbolic price of 10 MAD ($1.20) per year. The counselors deemed it urgent to enumerate public properties and to review the terms of contracts signed with the council partners.
The terms of the contract with the American school constitute a flagrant case of patronage at the expense of public interest especially that the tuition fees requested for each student are estimated to more than 14 000 MAD per year. Needless to say that the real estate prices in Hay Riad, one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in Rabat and in the country have been soaring exponentially in the last decade.
Sources close to the capital’s city council stated that the American school officials were seeking a new formulation that would shift the contract terms from rental to a final ownership. This request was adamantly rejected by the city council.
The rental contract with the American school is another face of rentier economy that had sacked all attempts to set the public administration on the right path. Rentier economy remains a major impediment to the implementation of sustainable reforms.