Morocco. According to official sources in September,
about 138,000 people had moved from slums to newly built
apartments in the framework of the government's initiative
"Cities without slums". The investment was aimed at creating
298,000 new homes at a cost of US $ 3 billion. The target
group was people without property and permanent work. The
government gave housing subsidies to those who moved and
collateral to banks that lent money to them. However, the
country's poorest could not afford it.
countryaah, several human rights organizations noted in October a
case where a woman was sentenced to three years in prison
and the equivalent of $ 13,000 in fines for abusing her
eleven-year domestic help. The girl was burned with hot oil
and iron, forced to shave and hit. The human rights
organizations said the verdict was too lenient and appealed
it to alert the situation to the country's roughly 80,000
On March 29, Morocco expelled five Christian missionaries
- four Spaniards and one German - who are accused of trying
to convert Muslims to Christianity.
On March 6, Morocco broke off its diplomatic relations
with Iran in protest at an Iranian government official's
suggestion that Bahrain actually belonged to Iran.
Mohammed V's intention was to "go slow" with the
modernization of the country's economic and political
institutions. While his son - Hassan II - who succeeded his
father at his death had more conservative ideas. His
theocratic regime - his family descended from Prophet
Muhammad - and a system of power based on services and
duties in the best paternalistic style, hindered the
development of an authentic national citizenship. At the
same time, the king encouraged foreign investment -
especially French - to exploit the country's wealth.
Hassan did not hesitate in 1965 to order Ben Barka
killed. He was the leader of the strong opposition party,
the National Union of Popular Powers (UNFP), which called
for an economic and social program to be implemented for the
benefit of the majority of workers and peasants.
The disappearance of Ben Barka in Paris was followed by
brutal repression against the popular forces. The UNFP was
shattered and the tendency that upheld Ben Barka's ideals
was forced to operate underground while the group led by
Abderrahim Buabid changed its name to the Socialist Union,
but at the same time betrayed its principles to take a
minority party seat in parliament. The Istiqlal party
converted its original anti-colonialism into right-wing
nationalism and expansionism. It supported King Hassan's
project for the formation of a major Morocco through the
annexation of Western Sahara and, if possible, Mauritania.
The contradictions in Moroccan society increased when
King Hassan occupied Western Sahara in 1975 and launched a
war that has led to major political changes in North Africa.
The cost of the war, the decline in phosphate prices on
the world market and the loss of support from Saudi Arabia
when King Hassan supported Camp David's Egypt - Israel peace
deal were all factors that helped to intensify the economic
crisis. The political consequences of the crisis did not
wait. 1979 was characterized by large student and worker
demonstrations. At the same time, it was a severe blow to
the government that Mauritania withdrew from the war on the
Sahara in August 1979. Morocco now had to bear sole
responsibility for the continuation of the war.
The drought in 1980 and 81 led to a shortage of food and
forced the government to import these, increasing the
country's foreign debt to an intolerable level. The IMF came
to the rescue of the government with emergency loans, but at
the same time demanded that the government remove subsidies
for food and housing. It made life even more difficult for
the working class. The ambitious plans for economic
development came into crisis, and "exports of unemployment"
were limited by the restrictions France imposed on
immigration of emigrants.
The crisis was further deepened as a number of moderate
opposition parties broke the political truce. The Socialist
Union of the Popular Forces (USFP) launched demonstrations
against the government. This violently suppressed the
protests in Casablanca in June 1981. According to official
information, they cost 60 people killed - according to the
opposition 637. 2,000 people were jailed. The so-called
massacre in Casablanca marked the final rupture between the
king and the remaining parties on the left, who did not want
to continue paying the high price of the war in the Sahara:
over a $ 1 million daily.