Rabat- After several national media outlets reported that the giant Coca-Cola company is preparing to shut down its plant in Tangier because of sugar subsidies cut, the group has just cleared things up about its business in Morocco.
The Moroccan-based Coca-Cola Export Corporation said in a statement that it “categorically denies the allegations reported by media outlets about shutting down its business in Morocco.”
“Some national news outlets quoted an anonymous source claiming that following the government policy to cut sugar subsidies, the Coca-Cola Export Corporation – Morocco branch will have to cease its production activities in Morocco,” reads the press release.
The group added that the company “reserves the right to resort to the competent authorities to protect its interests and its image, to which this false information has caused prejudice.”
After quoting ministerial sources, namely Lahcen Daoudi, the Minister in charge of General Affairs and Governance, the Moroccan daily newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia said in its February 16’s issue, that the Coca-Cola Company will shut down its plant in Tangier with the aim to move its business to Turkey following the government’s decision to cut sugar subsidies.
Asked by the daily on the reimbursement of sugar subsidies that many manufacturers benefit from, Daoudi explained that the state recovers its due in the soft drink sector, but that is not the same thing for other manufacturers of juices and pastry.
While some Moroccans consider the government’s subsidizing of staple goods as a necessity to preserve the purchasing power of lower- and even middle-class families, others applaud the government’s willingness to relieve the state from the constant pressure of subsidizing goods.
The government has justified its decision to end sugar subsidies, particularly granulated sugar, on the grounds that it is not the poor people who benefit from subsidies, but rather the big companies who consume large quantities.