Moroccan left-wing organizations are demonstrating against "high prices" and "suppression" of freedom of expression

Activists in trade union and left-wing political organizations demonstrated Sunday in Rabat to protest the rise in prices in light of the inflation witnessed by Morocco this year, in addition to protesting the "suppression" of freedom of expression, "corruption" and normalization with Israel.

The demonstration, which was called for by the coordination of the "Moroccan Social Front", attracted nearly three thousand people, who chanted the slogans "The people want to bring down the high prices" and "The overthrow of tyranny." 
 
The participants raised banners condemning "corruption" and "bribery", before dispersing quietly in the center of the capital.

"We came to protest against the high prices (...) against a government that embodies the marriage of money and power and supports monopoly capital," Younis Farashin, national coordinator of the left-wing parties, associations and unions, said in a statement. statement. speech on behalf of the demonstration.

"More than three million Moroccans have become poor," he added, due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and slowing economic growth.

Morocco has witnessed a significant rise in the past months in the prices of fuel, foodstuffs and services, as well as an exceptional drought that led to a decline in the official forecast for growth to only 0.8 percent this year.

The inflation rate increased by 7.1 percent in October compared to the same month last year, while it is expected to reach 6.3 percent by the end of the year. This affects the poor and middle groups, in a country that already suffers from social disparities.

In addition to protesting against the high prices, the demonstration, in which activists from different cities participated, condemned "all forms of restrictions on freedom of expression," according to what Farashin emphasized in his speech.

"There are a group of activists, bloggers and journalists in prisons. We cannot accept these retreats in Morocco 2022," he added.

Some of the protesters raised "tribute" slogans to journalists Suleiman Al-Raysouni and Omar Al-Radi, who have been imprisoned since 2020, after they were sentenced to 5 and 6 years in prison, respectively, in two separate sexual assault cases, in addition to an espionage case for Al-Radi.

Other demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and slogans against normalization with Israel, which is rejected by left-wing organizations and Islamists in general, stressing, "United against high prices and against normalization."

In the face of protests against the high cost of living, the government, led by wealthy businessman Aziz Akhannouch, confirms that it is pursuing a "social" policy that includes, in particular,

And 11 million Moroccans with limited incomes were included among the beneficiaries of health coverage, without paying subscription fees, starting from the first of December, which government spokesman Mustafa Paytas described as a "historic day."

However, the Kingdom, which has a population of about 36 million, is mainly betting on moving public and private investments to stimulate the economy, as it was recently announced the launch of a sovereign investment fund worth 4.1 billion euros.

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