Has Algeria Decided To Activate Economy To Deter Paris?
While the fate of the contract of the French company in charge of running the Algiers RATP metro system, which expired at the end of last October, is still unknown, the Minister of Water Resources, Mostafa Kamal Mihoubi, confirmed in the middle of the last week that the contract concluded with the French company “Suez Group” that manages the affairs of SEAL, which is concerned with managing water in both Algiers and Tipasa, which ends next August, may not be renewed due to violations committed by the French partner.
The minister talked about “the French partner’s failure to fulfil his obligations, especially within the framework of his third contract”, where “no effort was made to fight leaks”, and accused it of failing to put in place “the necessary means to assess and reduce the phenomenon of water leakage, which represents the weak link of this company that was created in 2006”.
The fate of the capital’s metro management company, which is also run by the French, remains a matter of great ambiguity. Although the contract concluded on October 31, there is no announced decision, at a time when unofficial information talks about the creation of an Algerian company to carry out the tasks of the French company.
In parallel, an Algerian-Qatari agreement was signed to “strengthen economic and trade cooperation and encourage partnership and bilateral investment”, during the first meeting of the Algerian-Qatari Business Council, which was chaired on the Algerian side by the Minister of Trade, Kamel Rezig, and from the Qatari side, the Qatari Minister of Trade and Industry, Ali Bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari.
Qatar is an important economic partner to Algeria. The Bellara Iron and Steel Factory (an investment of $ 2 billion) in the city of Jijel (eastern Algeria), and the Ooredoo Telecom Corporation, are among the most prominent Qatari investment projects in Algeria.
The aforementioned cases present two models for partners, the first model is a partner with whom the partnership is being strengthened represented in the State of Qatar, and the second model is a partner whose economic and investment relations are being reviewed, and it is France.
If relations with Qatar are in a state of stability, then relations with France are at their worst due to many internal and regional files and issues. Files related to memory are at a standstill, and the issue of compensation for the victims of the French nuclear tests in the south of Algeria is stalled by obstacles and unjustified decisions, which the French side undertook.
The cancellation of the visit that was supposed to be paid by the French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, at the beginning of this month, came to confirm the crisis afflicting the Algerian-French relations, which favours the hypothesis that Algeria will employ a weapon of economic interests to deter and subdue those who seek to undermine its stability or target its interests.