Rabat - This week’s round-up will provide the major headlines from Moroccan newspapers, featuring business, political, social, and cultural events.
Rabat – This week’s round-up will provide the major headlines from Moroccan newspapers, featuring business, political, social, and cultural events.
To begin with, Moroccan newspaper Al Massae reported on Monday, February 19 that Algeria has canceled an arms deal with Russia due to the decline in oil prices. The arms deal was intended to serve the Polisario’s front interests. According to the newspaper, the decline in oil prices has had a significant impact on the budget allocated for armaments, including funds allocated for the Polisario.
The city of Temara has been shaken by alleged rape cases committed by an Imam inside of a mosque, according to Assabah newspaper. The suspect has allegedly raped six children. The parents suspected the imam of inappropriate behavior after their children told them about some of his suspicious requests.
Following Tangier’s deadly crash that involved a freight train and a transporting vehicle, King Mohammed VI has urged the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport and Logistics to take the necessary measures to pursue those responsible in the incident, reported Akhbar Al Yaoum on Monday. The incident, which took place at the Beni Makada district, killed 6 people while 14 people were injured.
Al Khabar reported on Tuesday that the Minister of Culture and Communication, Mommed Laaraj is planning to promote Amazigh creativity through a draft decree that is expected to be presented before the cabinet next Thursday. Laaraj asked the government to establish a national book award to promote Amazigh literature and culture. Al Akhbar added that Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani and Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid have already agreed to provide the project with a large budget to fund the project.
On Friday, Al Massae reported that Moroccan authorities in the North of Morocco have managed to dismantle a drug network that used helicopters to smuggle drugs from Morocco to Europe.
On Wednesday morning, Morocco’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau successfully dismantled a terror cell made up of six support groups from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). According to national newspapers, the Ministry of Interior released that the six suspects are aged between 22 and 42. The cell was led by a former detainee who had previously been arrested on terrorism-related charges, added the statement. The suspects are also suspected of assault and violence against citizens in Tangier.
On the same day, Akhbar Al Yaoum reported that Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan was a candidate for the presidency of Morocco’s 2025 World Cup Bid Committee. Citing an unidentified source, Akhbar Al Yaoum added that the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture was going to chair the committee, however, his busy agenda prevented him from being assigned to the task. Therefore, King Mohammed VI appointed Moroccan Minister of Trade and Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy to chair the Moroccan bid.
Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum on Wednesday reported that Morocco has recently increased its presence in Asian countries. At the invitation of Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, the state has had several bilateral discussions with Asian delegations in Rabat.
Citing two Moroccan foreign affairs analysts, the newspaper added that Morocco’s action “came at a time when Morocco faces serious challenges due to Morocco’s pending ECOWAS membership bid and signs of hostility directed at Morocco’s Western Sahara stance within the African Union.”
Sixty percent of professions are expected to disappear from Moroccan job market, according to Al Massae. Mohamed Ben Abdelkader, delegated minister in charge of administrative reforms said that professions like “translator or “paralegal” will vanish from the market in the near future. The minister says that digitalization and technological advances are in part responsible for the decline of certain professions in Morocco.
The US intelligence services suspect a wide array of international figures, including some Moroccans, of funding terrorist acts, Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported in its weekend issue. According to the paper, the CIA and FBI are closely monitoring the suspects’ bank accounts to follow their financial transactions.
The national newspapers reported on Thursday that Morocco has made significant strides against corruption as they have risen nine places in the Transparencies Corruption Perceptions Index 2017. The Index measures perception of corruption in the public sector on a scale of 0 to 100. Morocco ranked 81st with 40 points in 2017’s report, while in 2016 the North African country was ranked 90th.
In its weekend issue, Al Akhbar reported that counterfeit medicines are causing 15,000 poisonings every year. The Moroccan Network for the Defense of the Right to Health raised concern and awareness about counterfeit and illegally manufactured medicines at the second national meeting of Medicines and Health Products.