Sovereignty, social and human capital and cohesion: the re Mohammed VI points the way through a new development model and asks the prime minister, the ‘chatted’ tycoon Aziz Akhannouch, appointed by him, to take the Morocco and take it far beyond the post-pandemic quicksand. Thursday afternoon the grandson of the great sovereign Mohammed V (Casablanca airport is named after him) has officially blessed it new government team presented by the democratically elected premier in the elections last September. To do this Akhannouch, former minister of agriculture in 2007, took almost a month and in the end he gave birth to an organization chart that includes 24 departments, some of which are absolutely new, of which 7 are entrusted to women. A new government organization with four ministers with special delegation: guarantee the cohesion of the country. To coordinate everything, on real inspiration, will be the Special commission on the development model (Csmd) which will focus on the objectives of public policies.

The new prime minister, who won the presidential elections on 8 September last with 97 seats won out of 395, should therefore not have too much room for movement. Elections in their own way historic given the absolute debacle of the PJD, the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (moderate, nothing to do with the power of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt e Turkey o di Ennadah in Tunisia), stopped at 12 seats. To reach the majority and form the government, Akhannouch had to ally with two other parties, the WFP (Liberal party for authenticity) and the historic nationalist party Liberty which together had obtained 160 seats.

The formation of the prime minister, the Independent national grouping (Rni) has always been considered very close to the positions of the royal house. The past and present of the rich and well-known businessman Akhannouch, considered the Moroccan Silvio Berlusconi, they did not play against his election. Moroccans believed in Mister 2 billion dollars – according to the magazine his empire would amount to that much Forbes -, not caring about the accusations of collusion between business and politics. Akhannouch, in fact, heads the sprawling holding of the Gruppo Akwa ranging from hydrocarbons al real estate sector.

Married and father of three, Akhannouch, a former goalkeeper for an amateur football team, based his campaign on the tour ‘100 cities in 100 days’, but he had to deal with the allegations of buying and selling of votes and to flood politics with his money. Presumed illegal profits of his companies that would have brought Akhannouch to the center of a called case ‘The 17 billion dirhams’ (1.7 billion euros). In a recent conference a Milano of nationalist movements, Akhannouch said that “Moroccans need to be re-educated”. A phrase that has aroused vibrant controversy, without, however, undermining the trust placed in him by Mohammed VI who will therefore be able to count on a mutual affinity. A much loved king at home, considered a patron, a visionary and a man of great depth.

There is renewed optimism, great confidence around the relaunch of a country brought to its knees by Covid, with the sightseeing, the first economic item, literally zeroed in the last 20 months. Civil society seems compact around the institutions, but Morocco also has frightening gaps. Starting from the recent vote: “More than the defeat of the Islamists I would like to emphasize how the elections were obviously rigged. Personally I have witnessed authentic antics at the polling stations, reminded me of the shame of years of lead in Morocco. The buying and selling of votes is well known here and is made possible by economic power. Akhannouch is part of the old politics used to running for government posts ”. Montassir Sakhi is an appreciated researcher at the University of Paris, an expert on Islam and terrorism: “Akhannouch – adds Sakhi – is the symbol ofcentralization of power of the rich classes of the country, the defense of private interests against those of workers and the public, at an economic and cultural level. I don’t know if the monarch is happy with Akhannouch, but I am sure he will suffer and regret the choice to entrust the government to him. The social fracture is incurable, while the repression of freedoms stay strong. Many social movement militants are in prison, as are several journalists ”.

There is an Italian, a poet and writer, who knows Morocco perhaps better than most Moroccans. Franco Caminiti the controversial figure of the premier is also very clear: “Akhannouch is rich, very rich, perhaps even more than the king and Berlusconi to whom, it is true, he resembles from many points of view, but I am convinced that we can expect something from him good. His luck is to be great friend of the monarch. Akhannouch is a 360-degree entrepreneur, ranging from milk to oil, passing through water, real estate, energy, he has hands all over the place and this has allowed him to become the largest African entrepreneur. I repeat, to get out of the crisis he could be the right figure, certainly accompanied by Mohamed VI ”. However, there are differences between Akhannouch and Berlusconi: “In Morocco if you go on TV you can’t do it showman, it cannot happen that a politician cleans the chair where a rival has sat. THE talk show they are rare and serious, you don’t go there to get votes. In those parts you do not become a minister or hold an institutional position by chance, there you have to be prepared, you must have studied. In the collective imagination, Morocco is Africa, therefore synonymous with confusion and dirt, but it is not like that. There they are manic in order, Rabat it’s a clean, beautiful, well-kept capital, Casablanca it is a megacity much more in order than Milano, where I live”.

As with any self-respecting country there are pros and cons, conflicting visions. If Caminiti exalts the Maghreb country, Khadjia Riadhi, president of amdh and historical leader for the defense of human rights thinks differently: “If there is a change we must expect the worst with Akhannouch – says Riadhi – With him we will return to defend the interests of the wealthy class. He has his back covered. Moroccans do not want to get rich, but to live in peace, without injustice or with the risk of ending up in prison for the opinions expressed. They want one free press and respect for civil and human rights. Everything is fine? And then the escape towards Ceuta e Melilla (the two Spanish enclaves on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, ed) of an entire generation of very young people, how do you explain it? “. Khadjia Riadhi is angry, worried and takes it out on what she considers the real plague, not only Moroccan: “Everything is done on the orders of France, the mistress of our lives. I can’t tell you if the monarchy will fall, it certainly won’t happen soon as long as there are those who support it. There will be no Arab Spring in Morocco, activists have escaped or are in prison. The king has muted dissent ”.

The example is Monjiib Maati, esteemed intellectual and historian, arrested in 2020 and sentenced last January. Currently in preventive detention, was released from prison in March of this year: “My freedom is at risk again – says Maati a – I’ve been accused of undermine national security, an absurd accusation. I ask everyone to help me to spread news and information inside and outside my country, to let everyone know about the persecution against me and my family that has been going on for over six years ”. On 30 September the appeal case against Mojib was updated to next 2 December.

Mention was made of Morocco’s first economic source, tourism. Evidence of a shattered industry is Mathieu Briere, an Italian-French entrepreneur, residing in Marrakech since 2015 and owner of a Riad, typical house and tourist offer methods: “The pandemic has massacred the sector – he says – I have been stopped since 2020 and only now I am receiving some booking requests. Fortunately, Morocco is a country close to Western standards and employees have been covered with compensation. We are not in the third world, Chinese vaccines Sinovac they arrived, I have been immunized for six months and the pandemic has been managed very well. Now is the time to leave ”. And the new government seems to be the ideal propellant: “Akhannouch gives euphoria and hope for change, especially to the young people who voted for him, to say enough with out-of-date precepts and falsehoods. The king is the most liberal figure in Morocco, one more open than many on civil rights and Akhannouch is of the same stuff and is perceived as a successful person. In short, someone who has made it and is therefore able to manage the Morocco company in such a delicate phase “.

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