Algerian journalists have commented on recent events around the freezing of trade operations between Algeria and Spain. After a few days of diplomatic crisis transformed into an economic crisis, Algeria has made a double back-pedalling which shows that it “cannot scare the European Union”, indicate the Algerian journalists. However, less than 48 hours after the announcement of the thaw, another turnaround is on the horizon.
” You knelt before the Kingdom of Spain“Thundered Algerian journalist Chawki Benzahra in a video posted on Youtube in which he explains the underside of the recent decision by the Algerian authorities to reverse the blocking of trade with Spain.
In June, a note from the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (Abef) announced to commercial banks the suspension of direct debits for transactions to and from Spain. The announcement of this freeze, of imports and exports, was not made through official Algerian channels, but Spanish officials confirmed it.
” At the end of the evaluation of the system”, relating to the freezing of foreign trade with Spain, and “in consultation with the actors concerned in foreign trade, the precautionary measures mentioned in the subject are no longer in place”wrote the Abef in a new note at the end of July, signaling the end of these restrictions, again without an official announcement.
It did not take long for this information to come under sharp criticism from observers, particularly Algerian journalists, who not only denounced the fact that it was a professional association announcing a decision by the authorities Algerians, but that in addition, only a few days later, there is a reversal in this decision.
Because less than 48 hours later, in an unexpected turn of events, it is the official Algerian press agency, this time, which makes an announcement. The dispatch from the APS calls into question the content of the note from the Abef, even though it had not done so the first time that announced the frost.
“The allegations peddled at this time by certain media on an alleged retreat by Algeria regarding its commercial relations with Spain are erroneous, because no official information has been made public on this subject by the authorities or the institutions. competent”the agency wrote.
“Decisions concerning financial and commercial matters which commit the State are taken by the Council of Ministers, by the Ministry of Finance or by the Bank of Algeria and are announced through official channels”indicates the agency, which adds that economic decisions, in particular those relating to relations with foreign countries “are the exclusive prerogatives of the State, and not of professional organizations, such as the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (Abef)”.
And tancer’s agency: “The Abef, to which these media refer, cannot replace the institutions of the State which are in charge of finance, the economy and foreign trade. It is a professional association and defends the interests of its members..
This backpedal received from the official news agency, does not include any statement from an Algerian official. It follows criticism that has called into question the governance of Algeria and its credibility before the international community.
” + The Nif (misplaced pride, editor’s note) and failure +, or even + water and bread and arrogance +, these are the slogans that are repeated to us in the Algerian regime “said the journalist, criticizing the decision to unfreeze commercial operations between Algiers and Madrid.
As a reminder, the crisis that the Algerian regime triggered with Spain comes down to a position taken by Madrid in the Sahara issue. The Iberian country decided in a sovereign way and in a State position, that it supported Morocco by enshrining the autonomy proposal as the most likely solution to put an end to the regional dispute around the Sahara.
” Spain has taken a position in the Sahara file and Algeria has said + the nif and the failure +, we are cutting trade relations, we are stopping the export and import of this country, and it is not no problem if we lose”, said the journalist, wondering where are these great speeches and these radical positions.
” Now we see that I was right when I called this attitude + misery and arrogance + and that they were going to break their faces one day or another, that’s what happened, “ he added.
Chawki Benzahra had estimated that this reversal of the situation, while Algeria hoped to put pressure on Spain so that it reconsiders its position on the Sahara, ” is another disaster for the image of Algeria and its honor. They (the Algerian regime) put our noses on the ground, they mopped the floor with Algeria’s reputation because of the regime’s idiocy and its madness”.
” They haven’t even been able to copy our neighbors, so imagine when they want to copy a regional power like Russia”he was surprised, referring to the diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Madrid, triggered following the reception in Spain under a false identity and in secret, of the leader of the Sahrawi separatist militia financed by Algeria .
Morocco, which had discovered the affair, then demanded an explanation from Spain, and a year-long diplomatic crisis ensued, which was settled by recognition by Madrid of the sovereignty of the Morocco on its Sahara, to prove that there was no collusion with Algiers against Rabat.
Algeria, which wanted to imitate the Rabat-Madrid crisis to force Spain to reconsider its decision, did not succeed and it was itself the one who had to reconsider its decision to block trade with the country. Iberian. The journalist Benzahra underlined in this sense that ” Algeria made a fool of itself and tarnished its image after this backpedaling in a few days”.
” I’ve always said that this decision didn’t make sense, and that you shouldn’t mix diplomacy, politics and economics, these two things don’t mix… They (the Algerian leaders, editor’s note) take the decision to cut commercial relations and then reconsider this decision, but this produced no effect on Spain. It has absolutely not changed its position on the Sahara”, he said.
And to explain the repercussions of this decision on the functioning of institutions in Algeria, stressing that there were problems in particular, in terms of the supply of medicines and certain foodstuffs.
” There has been a shortage of medicines in Algeria because of the blocking of imports from Spain, because even these medicines manufactured in Algeria come from raw materials imported from Spain! Everything comes from Spain, Benzahra said.
And to add that even the price of bananas is linked to the crisis with Spain. “The highest price for a kilo of bananas in the world you will find in Algeria. It costs $7 a kilo. It is an abnormal country”.
A version corroborated by journalist Abdou Semmar in a video, also published on Youtube. ” Algeria cannot replace in two or three months nearly 2 billion euros of Spanish products by other suppliers. It’s not possible, these are new contracts that have to be negotiated, new deals, logistics circuits to be put in place, it’s very complicated”, he said, pointing out that currently the world is subject to great competition and inflation of raw materials, including the products necessary for the manufacture of drugs.
“They tell you that Algeria produces 70% of the drugs it consumes. It’s wrong! Because the raw material to manufacture these products is totally imported,” in this case from Spain, continues Semmar, noting: “ We are an economic dwarf, oil and gas are not enough to scare the European Union. We are not Russia”.
Abdou Semmar, for his part, had estimated that Algeria’s backpedaling on its decision to freeze commercial operations ” was expected, it was announced by Algérie Part since June, we had said that Algeria would not last long in this showdown against the European Union and against Spain” and “the Algerian authorities have backed down, have understood the absurdity of their decisions”.
He explains that this particular decision had no ” logic because Algeria is no match for Spain and even less for the European Union since it is Algiers that finds itself in a situation of dependence and weakness in this equation.
” This decline of the Algerian regime in this showdown with Spain should allow us to learn very important lessons: We do not enter into a war if we do not have the means to win this war. And we don’t mix politics with business.” he says.
” You (referring to Algeria, editor’s note), you don’t have national production, you don’t have economic independence, you don’t have independence in several sectors such as the medicine sector (…) We don’t have food sovereignty, we need cereals from the European Union, we need agricultural products, medicines, machines, cars and industrial equipment from the European Union“, enumerates the journalist.
“We cannot go to war against the European Union when we ourselves have no economy. It doesn’t make sense,” he continues.
After this second back-pedalling, the Algerian journalist said to himself ” shocked ” in a new video in which, he claims ” not understanding on which foot Algeria is dancing “saying that the Algerian agency” ruins the moral credibility of the Algerian state”.