News: Headlines from the Moroccan Press: Thursday, August 9, 2018

In the peak of the summer season: These endless works that asphyxiate Casablanca: "Casablanca and its visitors are not living well this summer. That is a statement of fact. Indeed, the redevelopment of some sites, the widening of some boulevards, the maintenance of some pavements, or simply do-it-yourself work on some roads are launched and carried out, at the same time, at rush hour and all day long..."

Migration: minors expelled without guarantees: "Thousands of miners leave Morocco each year to reach the northern shore of the Mediterranean. But the response to these flows is far from adequate. Several receiving countries push for the repatriation of unaccompanied minors in the absence of guarantees. A study by the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad returns to the ordeal experienced by these young people..."

American poultry: A lot of fuss over a simple health certificate: "No one expected this media fuss over the finalization of the health certificate to accompany imports of poultry meat and poultry meat products from the United States. At least for the Moroccan part, the validation of this certificate is a routine administrative step within the framework of trade established between Morocco and other countries. Recent statements by Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative, and Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, in this regard, have been exaggerated, according to Moroccan poultry professionals..."

Morocco attracts 5.1 million tourists in the first half: "At the end of the first half of 2018, the positive trend continues for tourism indicators. According to the latest statistics from the Tourism Observatory, tourist arrivals increased significantly by 10% during this period compared to the end of June 2017. Indeed, they were about 5.1 million tourists at the end of June 2018 (up 17% for TES and 1% for MRE). In detail, more than 3.1 million foreign tourist arrivals (TES) were recorded at border posts at the end of June 2018 compared to 2.7 million TSE during the same period of the previous year..."

Cooperation: An Honorary Consulate of Singapore in Morocco: "The President of the National Museum Foundation (FNM), Mr Mehdi Qotbi, currently visiting Singapore, met on Tuesday with Mr Maliki Bin Osman, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore. On this occasion, the Singaporean official stressed that his government has decided to set up an honorary consulate of Singapore in Morocco, in order to facilitate the administrative procedures required for obtaining visas for Moroccans wishing to travel to Singapore. This initiative is capable of encouraging tourist visits between the two countries..."

Aid Al Adha : CIMR and CNSS anticipate August's pension settlement: "The Moroccan Interprofessional Retirement Fund (CTMR) announces to its recipients that it will proceed with the payment of Al Adha's pensions for the month of August as from 17 August, instead of 1 September, it is in a spirit of solidarity that the CIMR has decided to exceptionally advance the payment of pensions for the month of August to all its recipients. This measure taken by the Fund on the occasion of Aid Al Adha will enable its beneficiaries and their families to spend the feast of sacrifice in good conditions and will relieve them from the heavy burdens that weigh considerably during this period..."

Tourism: It is the embellishment: "The number of tourist arrivals at border crossings during June 2018 increased sharply. This is a good year of 18% compared to the same period in 2017, in line with operators' expectations. During the first half of 2018, the volume of arrivals reached 5.1 million tourists..."

Cactus: Sidi Ifni producers in disarray: "The arrival of the mealybug in the cactus fields, in Ait Baamrane, has changed the status of this pest from a simple threat to that of a reality that now weighs on the entire industry in the Sidi Ifni region and despite the various measures taken since detection, more than 15 days ago, from the cactus scale in the first production area, which accounts for two thirds of the Kingdom's production, the producers of this fruit marketed under the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)'Sobbar Ait Baâmrane', warn against the consequences of this situation on global production because it is the spread of the cactus scale to other plantations that revives their fears especially after the launch, this Wednesday, of the 5th edition of the Festival of the cactus in Sidi Ifni..."

The American chicken is coming: "American poultry meat will soon be on our plates. Whole chickens and turkeys, legs and wings, and boneless poultry meat not mechanically removed will be imported from the United States. All frozen. The opening of the Moroccan market to these products is, of course, part of the free trade agreement signed between the two partners on June 15, 2004, and entered into force on January 1, 2006..."

The Extended Preliminary Inquiry: "The King's Prosecutor has extended by 24 hours the duration of the preliminary investigation into the accident that caused, Monday, August 6, the death of Pierrette M'jid, widow of Mohamed M'jid, the former president of the Royal Moroccan Tennis Federation (FRMT). "It is only this Thursday, August 9, that we will have more details on the case," said yesterday Wednesday, August 8, Mohamed Aghnaj, lawyer of the M'jid family..."

Migrants and Ramed a project that stalls: "Bad news for regularized migrants and refugees. They still have to wait for their possible integration into the medical coverage program for the most deprived (RAMED). In fact, the partnership agreement signed in October 2015 between the Ministry in charge of MRE and Migration Affairs and those in charge of the Interior, Economy and Finance and Health with a view to providing regular migrants and refugees with basic medical coverage and allowing their access to health care similar to that included in the Ramed care basket remains on stand-by..."

ONSSA moves for a new Eid look: Nothing is less sure: "As Eid El Adha approaches, the National Food Safety Authority (ONSSA) has announced a series of measures to reassure consumers, who fear a new rotten sheepmeat scandal like last year's. If these measures have been described as draconian by the ONSSA, they are no less subject to question..."