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Algeria: Bouteflika Supports the Government

Algeria: Bouteflika Supports the Government

Sunday, 25 February, 2018 - 09:00
Algeiran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during a swearing-in ceremony in Algiers April 28, 2014. (File Photo: Reuters/Ramzi Boudina)
Algeria - Asharq Al-Awsat
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika implicitly called on thousands of doctors and teachers who have been on strike for months to end their protest, arguing that the country is "at a very crucial stage of national development."

This is the first time that President Bouteflika has intervened in this social crisis, which is of concern to a large sector of Algerians, and which the government has been dealing with great severity.

State-owned news agency Algerie Presse Service (APS) published Bouteflika's letter on Saturday, on the anniversaries of the creation of the General Union of the Algerian Workers (UGTA) in 1956 and the nationalization of hydrocarbons in 1971.

He described the two dates “of a great symbolic significance,” calling on young people to invest in the national building process.

Bouteflika's message implies his request for protesters and teachers to end their strike, a constitutional right.

Two days ago, Ministry of Education began dismissing hundreds of protesters claiming that the judiciary had ruled the "illegality" of the protest movement. The Ministry of Labor refused a visit of a delegation from the International Labor Office (ILO), due Monday.

“We commemorate them every year to galvanize our determination to take up today’s challenges and build Algeria of tomorrow,” added President Bouteflika, underlining that “these two historic achievements are the holders of a lesson which must guide our daily behavior as they concretely reflect the Algerian people’s capacity to excel themselves each time they commit to achieving an objective determining their fate.”

Algeria's economy is facing a crucial time especially with "the economic crisis that shook the foundations of the global economy and its resulting multidimensional implications. However, we are determined to find the ways and means to achieve the growth of our economy," APS quoted Bouteflika.

He added that the turmoil of oil markets and its repercussions on the major balances of our economy "requires that we get our economy out of dependence on oil revenues."

It is noteworthy that "diversifying the economy" has been an issue for at least 15 years. Since 2012, Bouteflika stopped directly addressing Algerians, but he continues to ask his government to devise plans to overcome the oil crisis.

Observers believe that the president wants to inform Algerians that the problem is in his successive governments and not his policies.

Bouteflika called on "young people not to look from now on to their future in terms of fluctuations in oil prices."

“This commemoration aims also at inspiring our youth with the ambition to invest in the national building process,” he added.

The President indicated that Algeria should not be satisfied with the role of oil exporter, but must work in order to impose itself as an efficient and competitive economic actor.

"I know that our workers are working diligently for this, and I assure them that I support them with all my might, and I trust their efforts with sincerity and a high national spirit," he concluded.

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