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Algeria’s sick rulers stir up tensions with Morocco

THESE SHOULD It’s a busy time for the world’s tenth largest producer of natural gas. Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European government competed for new supplies. Algeria sends more than 80% of its gas exports to Europe. Most are piped to Spain and Italy (see map). As the third largest supplier on the continent, we need to invest in new capabilities to produce and transport more. Instead, reducing transmissions is a threat.

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Last year, Algeria closed its pipeline to Spain via Morocco. The closure was an act of disgust towards Morocco. Morocco receives 7% of the stream as royalty and obtains almost all of its natural gas from Algeria. Spain still receives Algeria’s exports through a smaller submarine pipeline that bypasses Morocco. But last month, after Morocco asked Spain to reverse the flow of its now idle Morocco-Spain pipeline and send gas, Algeria also threatened to shut it down. Algeria said it would then stop all gas exports to Spain.

Algeria doesn’t want to lose Spanish cash. In any case, Algeria’s sedition has a lot to do with troubled domestic politics. However, the threat exacerbates a long feud with Algeria’s Morocco. Connected Algerians say that conflicts with neighbors can even lead to war.

Tensions between the two countries date back to 1963, when Algeria fought a short “sand war” over the border area a year after gaining independence from France. Since then, the ideological conflict has deepened. Morocco is a conservative and pro-Western monarchy, but Algeria was a prominent member of the Non-Aligned Movement and was friendly to the Soviet Union. Due to the joy of smugglers and the annoyance of everyone else, the land boundary between the two has been closed since 1994.

In the 1970s, Algeria began supporting the Polisario Front, a guerrilla group seeking independence in Western Sahara. This group was acquired by Morocco in 1975 after the colonial ruler Spain left. The decision to close the pipeline is related to the events in Western Sahara, where Morocco is well established both militarily and diplomatically.

It may not mean imminent pain for the Moroccan economy. About 60% of that energy comes from petroleum. The two gas-fired power plants are turned on only to handle peak demand. Authorities discussed the purchase of cargo from Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Morocco has issued a bid for a regasification plant. We are also promoting renewable energy.

Recently, dissatisfaction with Algeria has increased. International media reported last year that Morocco used Pegasus, Israel’s powerful spyware tool. NSO Peep into the phones of about 6,000 Algerians, including groups, politicians and generals. Morocco denies this.

Ambassador of Morocco, keeping in mind that Algeria is supporting the Polisario Front united nations He called for self-determination in Kabily, a predominant Amazighian region in northern Algeria. Algeria considered this a threat. It blamed Morocco for a devastating wildfire last summer. King Mohammed of Morocco called for dialogue in his speech from the throne last year in an attempt to cool the temperature. However, Algeria does not seem to be very keen on reconciliation.

Algeria is in the wrong direction.Exercise called Hiraku He led the protests and led to the overthrow of Abdelaziz Bouteflika after taking power for 20 years three years ago. Protesters wanted a new generation of leaders to emerge.Instead his fall Le Pouvoir, A group of gray men who ran the show from the shadows during the long reign of Bouteflika. They do little to reform the hidden economy or wipe out corruption. The unemployment rate is about 12%, which is higher for young people. Inflation reached 8.5% last year.

The Moroccan crisis is a way to bring together increasingly frustrated Algerians. Both sides seem to be preparing for the conflict. Algeria and Morocco have the second and third largest troops in Africa. Algeria has a $ 9.1 billion defense budget and is the sixth largest arms importer in the world. Morocco spent $ 5.4 billion on the military last year, an increase of about one-third from 2019. It ranks among the top 10 in the world as a share of military spending. GDP; Algeria is 5.6%, while Morocco is 4.2%. But Algerians sound less enthusiastic about conflict than their leaders. Young people may prefer the government to focus on work and the economy rather than rattling Saber with its neighbors.

Europeans are also wary of events throughout the Mediterranean. Last year, Spain won more than 40% of its natural gas imports from Algeria. Bursts will be hit hard when energy prices are already soaring. The Ukrainian war urged Spain to give up Russian gas. You can’t afford to lose another supplier. Moreover, conflicts between nearby Arabs can mean a wave of immigrants. In short, no one will benefit. ■■

Algeria’s sick rulers stir up tensions with Morocco

Source link Algeria’s sick rulers stir up tensions with Morocco

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