We earlier on, proposed parts 1 and 2 of 6 of an analysis of Dr A. Mebtoul, University Professor on the prevailing situation in Algeria shortly after the oil prices slump worldwide. Here is Algeria’s last chance to go democratic, Part 3 and 4.
‘No good economy without true democracy’ : A. K. Sen, Nobel Prize in economics
By Dr Abderrahmane MEBTOUL, International University Expert Professor
- – it is first of all to identify the various stakeholders in the process of economic reforms, whether they are positive or negative, whether they are domestic or foreign. In a second step, it will be to proceed with the analysis of the strategies that they are implementing to support reforms, block, or failing that, slow down, in assessing the means put at the service of these strategies. What are issues of reforms and the game of the internal-external actors supporting and opposing reforms? Resistance to the changes announced by the reforms stems from belonging to political power or its immediate periphery circles who fear the effects of such changes on pension situations that they were able to build throughout recent decades. These same actors also fear losing the control they exercise over some political and economic levers and this for the benefit of those who work to the promotion of these reforms and their success. Resistance to change can be localized at the level of five areas of predilection:
- a. certain segments of the system are in the opposition, elected assemblies or even in some segments of the central and local authorities;
- b. certain segments of the central and local administration;
- c. certain segments of civil society;
- d. part of private economic operators known to have thrived in the shadow of the monopolies held by the public sector and later their dismantlement.
- e. a significant part of the corporatist trade unions and public sector driven by ideological considerations or by interests annuitants.
By this meshing of a part of society and the State, opponents to the reforms try to weigh the nature of the latter, on the arrangement of the order of priorities and finally the rhythms to imprint their conduct.
4. – In relation to the internal stakeholders favouring the reforms, also present as a minority in the five areas discussed above, we can say without exaggeration, while remaining diffuse and unorganized, accession to reforms is part of a mood that is potentially majority in society. The need for change exist in all layers of society. It is especially visible at a large fringe of the silent intelligentsia conscious of all issues, women who see the reforms a way to exist and participate in the management of the city, youth knowledgeable, more demanding and impatient, worried for its future, explaining the brain drain. We find young dynamic entrepreneurs within the informal sphere of desire to adventure outside and work beside controlling 40 / 50% of the economic area of the country. The role of external actors, with the process of globalization, political and economic local groupings system, existing or ongoing training, has profoundly modified the bilateral relationships between regions. It is from this problem that must be weighed the perception that some external actors have the experience of our country leads in matter of either blocking or deepening of reforms. With geostrategic tensions particularly in Africa, the major powers consider Algeria, rightly as a major player in the stabilisation of the Mediterranean and the African region. That is why, including support of the European Union and the USA which are major partners, it is called for strengthening, increasing the chances of success of the reforms, to result in their wake in the support of international institutions and other regional groupings. Regarding external actors hostile to reform, it is necessary to agree that their roles and their influences strengthen as oil prices rise and become smaller when it drops with external lobbies linked to the annuity (as long as there are foreign exchange reserves) who want to make Algeria a market only and not a competitive productive economy. This leads us to analyze reforms in the various strategy of the different actors.