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Morocco: Growing Social Tension amid Rising Costs of Living

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The North Africa Journal | May 13, 2014 – With the government focused on reducing the weight of subsidies on the national economy, Moroccan households continue to struggle with the rising costs of living. So much so that an unusual consensus has emerged among three competing labor unions as they now form a common front against the government and Morocco’s corporate bosses.

While the middle class feels the pain of rising costs, poverty is expected to rise as well among the many households who remain at the bottom of the economic ladder. The unions have been pushing for a common response to the government’s challenge. Marches and demonstrations are being used to pressure the government of Prime Minister Benkirane, an Islamist leader who is seen as having abandoned the social programs so dear to the populist Islamist movement. With his government now under the control of the monarchy, King Mohamed VI has the perfect strategy to deal with the Moroccan economic dilemma: responding to the pressure from the multinational institutions calling for the elimination of subsidies, while letting Benkirane and the Islamists take the blame of rising costs in the eyes of the impoverished population. Continue here | Click here to subscribe

The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at www.MEA-Risk.com.