Morocco protesters demand govt action on cost of living

04 Jun 2023 11:45pm
Members of Morocco's Democratic Confederation of Labour (CDT) trade union attend a demonstration in Casablanca on June 4, 2023, to denounce the deterioration of the social and economic situation in the country. (Photo by AFP)
Members of Morocco's Democratic Confederation of Labour (CDT) trade union attend a demonstration in Casablanca on June 4, 2023, to denounce the deterioration of the social and economic situation in the country. (Photo by AFP)
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CASABLANCA, Morocco - Hundreds demonstrated Sunday in Morocco's economic capital Casablanca to protest against the surging cost of living in the North African country and urge action by the government, AFP correspondents said.

Protesters from the Democratic Labour Confederation (CDT) rallied in Casablanca's historic centre "to shout out our discontent with price hikes and with attacks on purchasing power", protester Abdellah Lagbouri told AFP.

Lagbouri came to the rally from Agadir, a city further south on the Atlantic coast. Other demonstrators also travelled from across the country to Casablanca for the protest.

AFP correspondents saw scuffles between security forces and protesters, but said the rally ended without major incident.

"It's shameful, workers' livelihoods are in danger," demonstrators shouted.

CDT official Tarik Alaoui El Housseini said the organisation had initially planned a march on Casablanca, but objections from local authorities made them opt for a rally instead.

Morocco has seen months of rising prices, particularly of food, fuel and other basic staples, in part due to recurrent drought that has affected the agriculture sector.

Year-on-year inflation slowed in April to 7.8 percent, after 10.1 percent in February and 8.2 percent in March, according to official figures.

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Nadia Soubat, another CDT official, said the group denounced "the government's inaction in applying the social accord achieved last year".

The agreement signed in April 2022 between the Moroccan government and major labour unions stipulated a rise in minimum wages in both the public and private sectors.

Government spokesman Mustapha Baitas said recently that "the government honoured a large part of its commitments despite the difficult circumstances". - AFP