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Cafés on national strike for 72 hours, against a tax decision by the mayor of Rabat

Since her appointment as mayor of Rabat, Asmaa Rhlalou has been going through bad times. While some of the councilors of the Municipality of Rabat opposed her desire to modify the Council’s internal regulations, now the owners of cafes in Morocco are organizing to launch a 72-hour strike that can be extended, if the mayor does not go back on a tax decision relating to the occupation of the public domain which could cost them dearly and jeopardize an entire sector.

A meeting organized by the Federation of Cafe and Restaurant Owners in Morocco took place this Saturday, May 6 at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of the Fez-Meknes Region to discuss the Council’s recent tax decision. of the city of Rabat.

Noureddine El Harrak, president of the Federation of owners of cafes and restaurants in Morocco, recalled at the microphone of MoroccoLatestNews UK that during the penultimate session of the Council of the city of Rabat, held at the end of 2022, the Council had decided to increase the drink tax by 50/70dh, as well as the state fees to reach 525 dhs per square meter every the 3 months.

The novelty today is that cafe owners in Rabat have received a notice of collection of state royalties from the public treasury to pay this tax following the tax decision recently approved by the City Council. Some must pay a sum of up to 150,000 DH every three months, which will make the total sum for a literally exorbitant year. It will therefore be difficult for all owners to pay these considerable sums“, said El Harrak.

He notes in this regard that if people fail to pay, ” the authorities will proceed to seize their property and bank accounts, in accordance with the provisions of the law. As the national and regional office of the Federation in Rabat, we cannot remain indifferent to this situation.“.

Faced with this situation, the owners have decided to launch a campaign against the abuses of the current mayor and her decisions, which they consider to be impulsive and reckless. They will set the date for their protest movement at a meeting to be held next week at the Chamber of Commerce in Rabat.

According to El Harrak, the majority of council members support the move, which has led cafe and restaurant owners to protest. They call on the municipal councilors of Rabat not to get carried away by the mayor’s impulsive decisions. They also urge Asmaa Rhlalou to better manage the expenses of the municipality rather than destroying an active sector which employs a large number of people.

As a reminder, after having expressed, already in September, their refusal of this decision, the professionals of the sector had held a meeting at the headquarters of the CCIS-RSK, in the presence of its president, Hassan Sakhi.

In a statement sent to MoroccoLatestNews, Sakhi had indeed denounced the exclusion of the CCIS, yet an essential institutional partner in this affair.

He had notably highlighted the “transgression of regulatory laws” by the mayor of Rabat, Asmaa Rhlalou, and her “exclusion from public institutions of important consultative meetings”.

While expressing his total rejection of the actions carried out by the President of the City Council, “through the taking of unilateral decisions without referring to the governmental institutions concerned by the consultations”, Hassan Sakhi, had qualified “the exclusion of the chamber of “flagrant violation of the law”.



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