Three European Countries Sound Alarm at Algeria’s Decision to Cap Its Imports

date 2017/05/11 views 1895 comments 0
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icon-writer By: Hassan Houicha /*/ English Version: Med.B.

Three European countries namely France, Spain and Italy have expressed their alarm at Algeria's approval of the system of import licenses approved by the Sellal Government to curb the foreign currency drain abroad, after they lost important sources of hard currency spawned by various Algerian imports from these three countries.

The reaction of the economic sectors of these European countries to Algeria’s move pertaining to the import licenses reflects the fact that Algeria is viewed only as a dumping market for the promotion of their goods and products (notably building materials and foodstuffs), considering that Algeria is a stone's throw from these countries on the other side of the Mediterranean basin

The last episode of European alarm was the newly-introduced system of import licenses and quotas notably from Italy, specifically from the local iron and steel industry, which suffered heavy losses due to Algeria's suspension of the imports of construction iron for reinforced concrete.

Italian media reported this week that reinforced concrete exporters to Algeria had received one answer from the Algerian authorities: "The issue of licenses is only a matter of days." But to this day, the file remains obscure and has not changed since mid-February 2017.

In this context, the Italian Iron and Steel website "Cedarwab" said that the producers of concrete steel in Italy suffered scathing financial losses because of the decision of the Algerian authorities to approve the system of licenses, and explained that they are looking for alternatives to this market pending the release of licenses similar to the Canadian market.

To date, however, there is no market in sight to replace the quotas that Algeria usually imported from Italy.

The same website tried to float the idea that “the Algerian domestic market of construction and concrete steel is terribly affected, especially in terms of prices, and is also gripped by scarcity, which has stalled building projects, thus necessitating early redress”, it argued.

The source of the second extortion of Algeria came through the manufacturers and exporters of ceramics from Spain, who enjoined their association and political officials in the province of Comunitat Valenciania to meet with the Consul of Algeria in Alicante to discuss the issue of subjecting these materials to the system of licenses according to specific quotas and end this stalemate.

The Spanish parties conveyed to the Consul of Algeria based in  Alicante its deep concern over the measures taken by Algeria to subject these materials to import licenses in certain quantities during 2017, which include ceramics, which would limit the square meters of tile ceramics that can be exported to Algeria.

The Spanish urged Spanish politicians and members of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Tiles and Ceramics “ASCER”, last April, as well as the Consul of Algeria in Alicante Azzeddine Ben Belkacem, to arrange a joint meeting as soon as possible, in order to obtain sufficient information on this pending issue, and pointed to the problems that can seriously beset this sector of activity, if remedial procedures are not applied at the earliest.

The most blatant blackmail came recently from the French side, particularly from Mr. Christian Estrosi, head of the Cote d'Azur region in southeastern France, who addressed Algeria in the form of orders, by calling for the import of large quantities of French apples grown in the region to save the French producers, while utterly forgetting to this effect, that Algeria is a free and sovereign country.

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