Friday, May 6, 2011

ALGERIA - The social concessions to avoid political openness

Social movements have been more compelling than the political initiatives, such CNDC (National Coordination for Change and Democracy, founded after the riots in early January 2011), to make their demands during the month of March. Contract teachers, whose demands for integration as full members in the body of education goes back more than ten years, are poised to succeed.

The presidential palace has instructed the Minister of Education to address the grievances of the protesters who have occupied for over a week instead of El Mouradia, near the presidential office. The communal guards have also imposed their will. They, also during the month of March, a real show of force outside the headquarters of the National People's Congress (NPC).

This security forces crushed since its inception in 1995, under the weight of popular invective and contempt of the authorities been able to force the arm to power. This April is also charged with tension. Paramedics will return to the indefinite strike, their release in early March had not been successful in the eyes of their union representatives.

They would join doctors and residents on strike for over a week. The social protest movements have not remained confined to the public. They threaten to spread the economic sector in the coming weeks. Thus, railroad workers, who have managed to bring their employer, the SNTF to consider their wage demands are on the alert, waiting for concrete results.

Similarly to SNVI Rouiba [national, commercial vehicles]. Slogans to strike proliferate across the country. Sonatrach workers [public company oil], first taxpayer of the state are on strike on several production sites in the South. Social movements are intensifying. The Algerian state, in the face of youth riots in early January and the rise of the democratic revolution in the Arab neighbors, has decided to increase the signal to open ...

social. The valves were opened to the unemployed who wish to start their own businesses. Public banks, hitherto overly reluctant and intractable, have been ordered to finance the projects of young entrepreneurs. By the same logic, the government was forced to make strategic concessions on behalf of the barons of the informal sector.

The obligation of the use of checks is simply abandoned and Trade sidewalk is more than ever authorized. According to statements by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, guest of a talk show on national television in late March, the barons of the informal sector were behind the riots that marred parts of the country in January.

An admission of weakness to a sphere which controls 20% to 30% of the country's economic circuits. These "signals" have sounded the starting signal to the rise of categorical demands for many corporations, be deemed compliant, as municipal employees or even journalists. Concessions burst on the social front are not only price, socially useful, in dinars for the Treasury.

They allow the Algerian authorities to gain time on the political front. President Bouteflika has not yet done so to the exclusion of the lifting [February 23] the state of emergency [introduced in 1992], a political concession, although the head of state has announced the "immediate and comprehensive changes" on this aspect.

The opening of the political and broadcasting - meaning the end of state monopoly on broadcasting - is still not on the agenda of the government. The establishment of a Constituent Assembly, as suggested by Hocine Ait Ahmed and Abdelhamid Mehri, respectively president of the Front of Socialist Forces (FFS) and former Secretary General of the National Liberation Front (FLN), is not considered.

And for good reason: the "forces" of the political opposition have failed to demonstrate their popular base, police repression did not help things. The failure of markets which has called the CNDC, including 12 and 19 February, will not have been able to join with this bubbling social movement, full of political promises.

Yet, all Algerians who rallied in recent weeks have not only done to get higher wages. The large student mobilization was at the edge of the corporate and democratic demands. Students have been successful for the abrogation of the decree equivalence of diplomas between the LMD [bachelor-master-doctorate] and the conventional system.

A hard-won victory, after several weeks of strikes and sit-in outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. But that has not succumbed to the temptation to enjoy the Saturday market, to expand the sphere of the fight? A temptation not quite extinct: a fringe student committee called for a national march in mid-April, after the academic year.

The spring could not then remain "as" social.

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