Transitions in North Africa: jobs are scarce - finance, food and energy, mismanaged

Fecha de publicación:
Francis Ghilès

The least one can say about the Western Mediterranean over the past eighteen months ago is that the region has in no way reinvented itself. Algeria and Morocco have drawn closer but the pace of change is very slow considering the unprecedented financial and political turmoil which is putting the very future of Europe in doubt and the revolts in the Arab lands which are reshaping the very nature of politics and economics across North Africa and the Middle East. The change of regime in Tunisia and Libya have changed two key actors whose policies in the region are as yet unknown. In Tunisia the outcome holds promise, in Libya the future is uncertain at best. The single most important other factor is a certain warming in Algerian - Moroccan relations, symbolised by the agreement reached last summer between Algeria’s state oil and gas company, Sonatrach and the Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricté to sell 0.64 Bcm of gas to Morocco for ten years over and above the transit fees (7% of the throughput which Morocco takes in gas) for the 7 Bcm worth Algerian gas transiting through the Maghreb Europe gas pipeline for clients in the Iberian peninsula.