News: Headlines from the Moroccan Press: Thursday, November 8, 2018

Royal Speech on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Green March: HM the King calls for a direct and frank dialogue with Algeria: "Our approach to managing the country's major affairs is based on serious work and a sense of responsibility at home, and on the principles of clarity and ambition that guide our foreign policy. These foundations have constantly underpinned our action; they have always inspired our positions and reactions towards everyone, especially our brothers, our friends, our neighbours..."

Two Muslim women and an Amerindian woman enter the American Congress: "On Tuesday, November 6, the Americans elected a divided 116th Congress, which promises the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, a turbulent last two years of his term in office. He nevertheless congratulated himself on his party's retaining a majority in the Senate. Two years after the populist businessman's drive to the White House, without any political or diplomatic experience, the Americans did not create the anti-Trump "wave". The Democrats promised to use their new majority in the lower house, from January 2019, as a "counter-power". In addition, the Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids, a martial arts lawyer, became the first American Indian woman elected to Congress by winning over conservative lands..."

Royal call for a direct and frank dialogue with Algeria: "The eagerly awaited royal speech given on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Green March will be a milestone. Thus the Sahara issue was very present but also bilateral relations with Algeria. The royal speech was marked by an invitation to the Eastern neighbour to engage in dialogue. "Our approach to managing the country's major affairs is based on serious work and a sense of responsibility at home, and on the principles of clarity and ambition that guide our foreign policy..."

Benchaâboun: Morocco has an important role to play in Africa's development: "Morocco, with its strong presence in many economic sectors in Africa, has an important role to play for development in the continent," said Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaâboun on Wednesday in Johannesburg..."

Trade finance: Afreximbank's new Moroccan ambitions: "The African Import and Export Bank, Afreximbank, is preparing to increase its financing on the Moroccan market for the development of intra-African trade. Since its inception in 1994, Afreximbank's operations in Morocco have amounted to approximately $100 million out of nearly $50 billion in approved credit for African companies..."

Spatial planning: The State seeking greater coherence in public interventions: "A major study to define the orientations of the State's public policy in land use planning is in the pipeline. It will lead to the proposal of a mode of governance and institutional, legal and financial support measures for an "effective" implementation of the development policy guidelines..."

GMT +1. The school loses the compass: "The new school timetable destabilizes students and parents in public and private schools. Between postponement and protests, it is (almost) total blur. A wave of anger is blowing through a number of public sector schools due to the new schedules, applied following the maintenance of GMT + 1. Dozens of students organized protest movements in Temara, Taza, Kelaâ Sraghna, Zagora, Azilal, Ait Melloul and Khouribga..."

Privatization. Who are the flunkies? : "A new wave of privatisations is announced by the government to bail out the state coffers in 2019. What about the excluded? The Finance Bill 2019 provides for the introduction of, among other things, two companies on the list of privatizable companies. The first is the famous Mamounia hotel in Marrakech. This palace is a mecca for luxury and business tourism. The second is the Tahaddart thermal power plant, which was developed by ONEE, in partnership with Spain's Endesa and Germany's Siemens..."

Microcredit wants to change scale: "While bank credit growth has been sluggish in recent years, the situation is different in the lower floor. The outstanding loans granted by microcredit associations increased by 38% in five years (7.6% on average per year) to reach MAD 6.9 billion at the end of June 2018..."

Selective sorting: A first in Morocco: "Fez is the first city in the Kingdom to have an automated selective sorting and waste recovery centre. A pilot project in Morocco and Africa, the Fez centre will recover 28% of the waste collected (300 of the 1,200 tonnes/day)..."

The Freedom House report lacks objectivity: "The results of Freedom House's latest report on digital freedom in Morocco displeased the Moroccan authorities, as the report is full of "imprecise data" and lacks "objectivity". This report, it is recalled, placed Morocco second in the Middle East and North Africa region with a score of 45 out of 100 points and ranked it among the "partially free" countries in terms of freedom on the net..."

Life resumes on Mont Bouiblane and its slopes: "A few days after the discovery, under a thick layer of powder, of the lifeless body of a shepherd, disappeared at the end of October, on the slopes of Mount Bouiblane, undoubtedly surprised by a snow storm, the authorities of the Taza region announced the restoration of traffic on the roads and passages leading to the douars located on the slopes of the same mountain..."