Morocco watches nervously as Egypt erupts.

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by scotjimland, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    More on this story http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g5hcbMgjXEiksGes2bL-4Mgugnsw?docId=CNG.ddc0305146893ec9e9e6796d743e6af7.51
     
  2. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    South Wales,
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Nor would I Doug, however, the Foreign Office hasn't advised against travel, yet.

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/morocco

    This report gives a different view ..

    MOROCCO NOT LIKELY TO FOLLOW TUNISIA, EGYPT

     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  4. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    6,159
    Likes Received:
    1,970
    Location:
    Kent, garden of England
    The whole area is at risk

    The whole area of the countries that boarder on to the med are at risk it seems, but then so are places such as Yeman that have also reacted. People power is on the move. They are fed up with dictators and they want a bit of the American ideal of apple pie. But in most cases they are fed up with high prices and being on the bottom rung of a ladder.

    I can remember the riots in the UK a few years back.. Who says it cannot happen here again! You can only go so far... Ok we are still a long wAy off from the situation.. But if the government in the UK does not listern they will feel the man in the streets size ten boots ... While we do not have a single dictator, we do in other ways bythe nature of the present government .. Who have only lived a life of the rich and have no idea what it is like to be poor orwith no job. I do not think anywhere is totally safe these days. Egypt is the one to watch... Ok the army has not reacted yet, but if they do then we will see serious issues in the middle east in general.

    Bob:Eeek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    South Wales,
    I agree with every thing except the red highlight, I think we are very close, all's that is needed is a trigger, and that can come from anywhere.


    Doug...
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Yes indeed, as we witnessed recently with the student demos..

    The internet has changed the world, given people a voice, a platform and a means to organise .. Facebook and Twitter are the new revolutionist's tools ... as witnessed in Tunisia and Egypt.. the genie is out of the bottle.

    Two years ago the EDL were unheard of, now they have over 68,000 members and growing and were given 'air time' on BBC2 Newsnight last night. I make no comment, merely pointing out what is happening.

    The world is certainly changing .. and fast.
     
  7. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Heathrow
    oops.
    We're going there in 4 weeks....
     
  8. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Spain and Morocco
    As I sit here, before yet another Moroccan tour in a few days....... I ponder, and attempt to bore you :RollEyes:

    The ongoing situation is both “exciting” and complex with many agenda’s at play that demands an understanding beyond even the most learned of political analysts. From the point of view of the “Arab in the Street” it is probably a simple matter of Jobs, freedom, essential costs etc. But even there we are seeing something quite unusual……huge numbers of women on the streets, self policing, noisy but largely peaceful and dignified gatherings for example. Extending a view on what recent and ongoing events will have on neighboring states, or indeed the collective Arab nations as a whole need a little more thought than just the standard cliché comments. And sources [earlier quoted] like the Moroccan “The Red Prince” Prince Moulay Hicham who is a continuing thorn, troublemaker and so called leftist-reformist…..with an agenda…..should be treated with particular sceptisme.

    Placing the ill informed and sensation seeking media [Some Spanish newspapers have a particular axe to grind and agenda…….false quotes and even using pictures and footage from elsewhere] aside for awhile Morocco has largely escaped comparisons…….Of course ……..we should never say never…….Indeed, many in the west have long been calling for the very revolution that is now taking place. An interesting point is how these initially small riots have quickly turned into huge demonstrations, compared to our demonstrations that seem to quickly turn into riots….. It is also perhaps worth noting that whilst some westerners have, understandably rushed for flights home, there have been no instances of actions against tourist or western interests, indeed it seems that there has been little in the way of holiday cancelations to either Tunisia or Egypt. In fact as I write our “Sister Company” has tour groups [4x4] in both Tunisia and Egypt and report no situations as far as they themselves are concerned……..in fact to the contrary, they are being exceptionally looked after and informed.

    It is no secret where my interests lie….with both extensive business interests and a second home in Morocco…..with an admiration for the Arab/Muslim culture, but a critique of “Islam”…..But that’s another story!

    Those who “pretend” to analyze the events that are taking place in Tunisia and now Egypt and “advise” on the serious lessons that should be drawn from those events by neighboring countries and by the West, which lends them support, often chose to be highly selective in facts……..It hard, almost impossible, to perhaps look a little further than the headlines. But constructive and objective analyses of events of our time are always welcome because we live in an interactive world and we do need to share our thoughts and experiences in order to move forward in our quest for a better world and a better life. For example the article quoted bellow is far from being objective or constructive. It is merely a collage of stereotypes that contradict historical facts and reality.

    A particular article, in a leading Turkish magazine, for me highlighted and illustrated the problem……The logic and basis of this article seemed to me that it came from the pen of someone who would describe today’s Turkey by using the prejudices of the infamous film “Midnight Express.” For the purpose of my point the actual article in full is irrelevant [and it is very long]…….but it was said…..

    ……………..“His name in Mohammed. He has no surname, but a number: VI. He is 47 years old. Since it was liberated from French colonisation in 1956, Morocco has been ruled by his grandfather, father and Mohammed VI as if it were their personal property. For 11.5 years, King Mohammed VI’s words are law. That is, he is the law and he is the power. As opposition cannot exist in the country, democracy is not present even in its smallest representation.”…………

    This is said as if Morocco is an unknown entity, created in recent history in a no-man’s land. It is said in total ignorance of historic and modern facts and in a “caricatured” manner that is contradictory to verified and verifiable facts. So, some historical facts:

    * We may argue and agree on the differences between “colonisation” and “protectorate,” but as a fact, Morocco was not “colonised.” It was declared a “protectorate,” with France in the center of the country, Spain in the north and the south and an international coalition of 12 powers of that time in the northern city of Tangier. By being so, the Moroccan king (Mohammed V) was still the head of state and all decrees and laws had to be approved by him.
    * The monarchy in Morocco did not start after the liberation from French “colonisation.” The Moroccan monarchy is one of the oldest in the world.
    * Apart from the 44 years of being a “protectorate,” between 1912 and 1956, Morocco has existed continuously as an independent state for about 1,300 years.
    * Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh and Rabat are some of the old capitals of the great Morocco.
    * The Almohad, the Almoravids, the Saadins and the Alaouite dynasties are some of the dynasties that ruled Morocco and assured its independence, prosperity and development. The current king, Mohamed VI, belongs to the Alaouite dynasty that has been in Morocco for more than 300 years.
    * Morocco [an established state with its institutions and democratic rule] was the first country in the whole world to recognize American independence and the country with which the US signed its first international agreement.
    * Morocco is the only country in the region that was never part of the Ottoman Empire.
    * Morocco is the only country in the Islamic world where prayer is conducted under the “Imamship” of the Moroccan king, not under the name of the “Caliph” in Baghdad or Damascus.
    * According to modern international standards, Morocco was one of the oldest “states,” where functioning institutions at the central and regional levels were in place. A system of consultations [elections, decision making, etc.], of tax collection and state expenditure control were in place in Morocco hundreds of years ago.
    * The Kingdom of Morocco has existed as an organised state, as a defined independent entity for hundreds of years and is not a modern creation.

    More interesting facts………..sorry!

    * Since its “independence,” gradually from France and Spain [1956], Morocco adopted the regime of a “constitutional monarchy.” The first Moroccan constitution allowed for a political multiparty system and for a liberal economy.
    * As a state that has to adapt to modern changes, Morocco struggled to implement new modern laws and to create conditions for a better life for all of its citizens. Morocco, which produces no petrol or gas, counted on its own human resources to create favorable conditions for its development.
    * As every state in the world, Morocco witnessed social and political struggle in the 1970s and 1980s. Struggles that occurred between various Moroccan political and social forces were part of the continuing process of the enhancement of the political system that has to cope with the ever-changing world.
    * Moroccans themselves called this period “Years of Lead” because many political activists, mainly from leftist parties (Morocco was the only country in the region with legal communist and all kinds of socialist parties), suffered either in jail for many years without trial or were in exile.
    * In the early 1990s, hundreds of political prisoners were freed and an equal number of exiled opposition leaders returned to Morocco.
    * Morocco was the first country in the world to initiate in the 1990s a truth and reconciliation commission. Ex-political prisoners and their relatives testified on live TV programs of their suffering during those “years of lead.” It is even more worthy to mention that such example took place in countries such as South Africa and Argentina, but in those countries it happened after a change of regime, whereas in Morocco it happened within a political opening that was the result of Morocco’s vivid society.
    * Ex-prisoners and their families have been compensated, reintegrated and now resumed their political activities.
    * As part of this overture, regions that were neglected during those “Years of Lead” have been prioritized in development programs and Morocco has started what is called a “Transitional Judiciary.”
    * International organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other bodies such as the European Union and the State Department have all praised those changes and largely hailed Morocco and its vivid society for those developments [with some criticism of course].
    * Since then, Morocco has introduced many amendments to its constitution in order to improve its political system.
    * Some ex-political prisoners from leftist parties were elected to parliament and managed to form a governing coalition with other parties.
    * The power in Morocco, according to the current constitution, is shared between the elected government and the monarchy. Elections in Morocco have been open to observers from all around the world and have been described as fair and democratic.
    * All political actors are now engaged in discussions on how to further enhance our political system.
    * Since the 1990s and because of this inclusive dialogue and political opening, Morocco counts no political prisoners.
    * Morocco counts now more than 30 political parties [from extreme left to conservative parties], several trade unions and human rights organizations, an ombudsman and a National Consultative Council on Human Rights. All of these organizations are affiliated with international bodies.
    * Morocco is one of very few countries that have introduced human rights courses in the curricula of its police academies.
    * Morocco recognizes and respects its religious and cultural diversities. A high council for the Amazigh culture and language has been put in place. The Amazigh [Berber] language is now learned at schools and Amazigh TV and radio stations are operating to maintain and promote the Moroccan cultural diversities.
    * Media in Morocco are very vibrant and free. Hundreds of dailies and magazines are published in Morocco. They report on everything and there are almost no “taboos” or subjects that are not scrutinized by the Moroccan media.
    * Dozens of independent radio stations are already operating and an Independent High Authority of Audiovisual Media is in place to monitor and regulate the activities of the media.
    * Recently, a national commission comprising all representatives of Moroccan society was appointed to present a regionalization plan that will allow locally elected entities to be more involved in the management of their regional affairs, be it economic, social or political. This project is very ambitious and goes well in line with more democratization of Moroccan society.
    * Internationally, Morocco has adopted all international conventions related to human rights, gender equality, and the protection of children and women.
    * Morocco has introduced one of the most courageous civil laws (family law). Morocco actually counts seven women among its cabinet ministers and more than 30 members of parliament (more than 20 percent of the total number of members of parliament). Women in Morocco are active in all spheres of life and there is no restriction on their full participation in active life within Moroccan society.
    * Transparency International and all other international organizations have offices in Morocco and exercise their missions freely.
    * In its relations with the European Union and in recognition of those tremendous positives changes that took and are still taking place in Morocco, Morocco is the only country that has been granted advanced status with the European Union. It carries the status of less than a member, more than a partner. This “privilege” was granted Morocco upon scrutinizing its functioning democracy, judiciary, the rule of the law and transparency in business arenas.
    * Morocco is party to the Declaration on International Investments and Multinational Companies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Morocco is also a regular observer of the Public Governance Committee of the OECD.

    Phewwwww……………………

    Those were a few basic facts that should be taken into consideration while “trying” to understand a country and its dynamism. Democracy is not a formula to be imported and implemented. It is a process and its betterment is an ongoing one, and Morocco is no exception to this formula.

    At a time when most “developed” and “rich” countries are struggling with the downturn of the international economical and financial crisis, Morocco, a country with a population of 30 million and that imports all its energy needs, is struggling as well to contain those negative effects…….but is showing amazing growth and stability in many areas.

    It should be understood from the abovementioned facts; Morocco has its own history, its own characteristics and its own dynamism. A “revolution” has been taking place in Morocco since the 1990s, but it is a quiet and peaceful one that is a result of the wisdom, farsightedness and dynamism that is the hallmark of the present Moroccan society…..

    But………….never says never!
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Morocco government plays down call for protests:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/03/idINIndia-54646220110203
     
  10. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    11
    Crikey!

    Jim, Lord and Master, was that de longest tour we've ever had?

    I've known too many politicians to get worked up about politics, and many times my vote is an absention.

    That said, regardless of whether the present coalition government is right or wrong, what sticks in my craw are the criticisms made by members of the former government who totally ignore the fact thatit is they who got us int this mess.
     
  11. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Spain and Morocco
    ........?........:Wacko:
     
  12. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,837
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    South Wales,
    What difference does it make: each MP is as corrupt as the last one: each political party is as corrupt as the last one.

    Voting is never ever going to change any thing, we were screwed: we are scewed and we will be screwed. Untill the system is changed.

    Doug...
     
  13. madbluemad

    madbluemad

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,341
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    spain
    IMO, It was never the last government that "got us into this mess", they sure didnt help matters but in the final analysis it was a million and one things that were to blame.

    The current government is totally out of control and will make things an awful lot worse rather than better.

    It was interesting to watch question time last night, the days of this government blaming the inherited problems of the last government are now over.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Sorry, but I'm struggling to see the connection to the present unrest in Tunisia and Egypt with the mess the UK is in, no matter who's fault it is ..

    We have the government we voted for.. or as some pundits put it, the one we deserve.. not that I voted for it.. but that is democracy, "not great, but the best of what has already been tried before" . (W.Churchill )

    But lets no start a political debate in the continental touring forum .
     
  15. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Spain and Morocco
    I think I have lost the plot on this one...........:Doh:

    Coalition......UK.......Previous lot........

    I know threads at time sway a bit, but...................:Eeek:

    ..
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
  17. bambi 2

    bambi 2 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    france, (Aveyron)
    :Eeek: Well!! I hope this all comes to nothing as we are sitting here enjoying the Moroccan sun and reading this is getting me worried.
    bambi 2
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    Hi, We all hope it comes to nothing,

    Morocco is a popular destination that thousands of motorhomers visit safely every year .. .. better to be informed though and keep an eye on the news.

    Ray , (DD) however is better informed than most,( our man on the ground so to speak,) so his advice is worth taking note of.
     
  19. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Spain and Morocco
    Why are you worried Bambi..........?

    And while we now look towards Egypt what exactly has changed in Tunisia and as our glance shifts from Egypt how much I wonder will change there! It takes more than an ointment to remove a cancer..........

    I write this only because Morocco is a popular destination for the Motorhome owner.....an estimated 12.000 are at present lurking at various locations along the Atlantic coast.......And yes, we [Desert Detours] have a Mhome group just returned and I leave with another in a few days [can’t wait!]........The vehicles are loaded, I’m bored and love the feel of this new keyboard......So....

    It would be remarkable, and very unlikely if Morocco did not experience a showing of unrest through street demonstrations in the near future........In fact there would be nothing new in that.

    Over recent years [practically last year] there have been a number of demonstrations and widespread strikes in Morocco. Most of these have coincided with the introduction of new legislation that to us may seem mundane and overdue but were actually sensible. Professional driver’s hours and the newly introduced Highway Code has caused many strikes and demonstrations.....Why? Because most drivers of trucks and taxis do not own them, rather they pay high rent/hire charges and need the long hours behind the wheel to make ends meet. The new rules threaten that. It is the same with taxis and their drivers. The newly introduced [and much needed] “Highway Code” has fuelled unrest because of the bigger and punitive fines.......etc etc....all on face value seem unimportant but add the increases in food, fuel costs and unemployment and you have a problem.

    Interestingly Morocco has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the Arab world, but is spending huge amounts on education to correct this.......but then yet another problem emerges......a new bulging and educated youth population who, because of the relative “freedom” they enjoy, are able to see via the hundreds of satellite TV channels the “pavements of gold” and opportunities we enjoy [?] in the west. Incidentally, ask most of the young people in Arab countries where, given a choice, would they like to emigrate too........And yes, it’s to the home of the Great Satan.....America!

    Much has and continues to be done........but changes in the Arab world are painfully slow and it is true to say that discontent is widespread in Morocco. Despite an economic boom over the last years and some careful reforms ordered by King Mohammed VI, most prominently regarding gender equality and education, Morocco remains the poorest country in North Africa, with least employment opportunities and as I said......the lowest literacy rate.

    The King, descendant from the Prophet Mohammed, has an almost divine role in Morocco. Very few dare to criticise him, even in the mildest form. It is fair to say the vast majority hold him in the highest regard and understand and appreciate his motives.........They just want change and a better life NOW!

    Loyalty to the King is great and unquestionable, while the government, ruled by the age-old "Makhzen" class, controls the administration, police, army and much of business and are the popular focus of hatred. In the streets it is often said that the King is honest, cares and wants to rule the country well, but the Makhzen are a stone around his neck.....corrupting everything.

    However, some minorities to a wider degree, do dare to blame the King for their mischief. This includes large parts of the indigenous and disadvantaged Berber people. Estimates of the Berber population vary from 20 to 60 percent of the Moroccan total [official estimates being the lowest]. Unemployment is, perhaps predictably, highest among Berber youths who populate the more rural areas. To the Berbers the Arab King as a foreign imposer.

    The “Islamist” movement in Morocco, which faces the same repression as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, is shifting its loyalty to the King, which they predictably see as a marionette of US and Israeli interests. Moroccan Islamists however are split in their view of the monarchy and are unlikely to hold any great power in the future..........Morocco has I be leave [and hope] moved too far away from the rigid Islamist style of oppression.......and the Moroccan women are not going to lose their hard fought place in society to give way easily.

    And how is this going to affect the readers of these forums, the motorhome owner and holidays’ makers in general? I would guess little or not at all......I was at Algeciras port this morning and still the majority of vehicle shipments seemed to be Motorhomes, Caravans, 4x4’s and Mbikes.

    If any solo owners are concerned, or want the latest information, you can contact our office on 0034 615276532 [no, we will not try and sell you a tour place] as I phone-in several times a day. Or you can contact me direct in Morocco most of the time on our Moroccan number 00212 655803916 or on the Spanish phone I carry 0034 658988841.

    ..
     
  20. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    321
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Nice one Ray! I spoke to our Morocco Tour Direstor (he lives in Morocco) and he confirmed the gist of what you said. Morocco is by no means perfect, but Morocco is the least likely of all north African countries to experience serious unrest like Tunisia and Egypt.
    Of course, nothing is certain, but our "guy on the spot" is quietly confident that Morocco will continue to grow as a safe motorhome destination for several years yet.

    BobT
     

Share This Page