After defending the increase in bus ticket prices for travelers on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, arguing that it falls within a legally defined framework, the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Mohammed Abdeljalil, justified the rise in prices for ferry transport between Spain and Morocco by invoking inflation and the increase in prices on a global scale.
During the oral question session in the House of Representatives on Monday, the opposition sharply criticized the Minister of Transport and Logistics, describing the prices of ferry tickets between Spain and Morocco as ” whimsical“.
The parliamentary group of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) has thus compared the prices of ferry tickets between Morocco and Spain with those practiced in other countries. They found that a car trip carrying four people from the Sebta enclave to Algeciras costs 1,900 dirhams, while the same car trip from Tangier to Algeciras costs 5,700 dirhams.
The opposition also pointed out that a bus trip from the port of Tangier to Algeciras costs 3,600 dirhams, although the distance does not exceed ten kilometers, while the same trip from Calais in France to England, over a distance of 18 kilometers, costs 1,900 dirhams.
Thus, the opposition considers that the ferry companies ” act against the logic of free competition and the free market through agreements“. In this sense, she called on the supervisory ministry to ” seek practical measures to combat illegal cartels, restrict damage to fair competition and prevent monopolization and greed“.
For its part, the parliamentary group of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) believes that it is ” inconceivable that a family of four pay 4 million centimes (40,000 DH) for travel tickets to visit Morocco“, wondering why the prices of travel tickets are not supported, as has been the case during the period of “ covid“. The Pjdiste group thus recalls that financial transfers from Moroccans around the world have reached a record level close to 100 billion dirhams.
In response to opposition criticism, Transport and Logistics Minister Mohammed Abdeljalil said his ministry ” pays particular attention to the passage process by providing the conditions for its success, in particular by ensuring an adequate maritime fleet, establishing a voyage program and strengthening supply capacity“.
The Minister thus explained that the prices of transport tickets at the world level “ increased due to inflation“. But his ministry has all the same made the shipping companies aware of the reduction in ticket prices, and some responded by offering preferential reductions of up to 20%, or about 1,000 dirhams per family, prices equivalent to those of the previous year“, he noted.
In response to the figures presented by the socialist group of the opposition, the Minister of Transport and Logistics argued that the price of the crossing between the port of Tangier Med and Algeciras is 5,100 dirhams round trip, while he was 6,300 dirhams at the beginning of June. On the other hand, the price of the trip between the enclave of Sebta and Algeciras amounts to 4,300 dirhams, according to Abdeljalil.
In addition, the government official excludes the possibility of supporting the prices of travel tickets for Moroccans residing abroad (MRE). He notes that the support that was given during the Covid period was an exception and has not reoccurred.
According to data presented by Mohamed Abdeljalil, the number of ships providing maritime transport this year stands at 32 ships, operating on 12 lines and providing 538 trips every week, with a capacity of 500,000 passengers and 136,000 cars.