“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Oil prices, virus, instability put Algeria on edge

Yahoo – AFP, Amal Belalloufi with Philippe Agret in Tunis, April 12, 2020

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman chairs a virtual meeting
of G20 oil ministers in Riyadh (AFP Photo)

Algiers (AFP) - Algeria faces economic and social turmoil if crude prices continue to collapse, experts have warned, with the oil-dependent country reeling from a year of popular protests, political turmoil and now, coronavirus.

The North African country is an example of how hydrocarbon economies are likely to face unrest if oil prices remain at near two-decade lows due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a price war between key players Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Top oil-producing countries agreed Sunday to slash output by nearly 10 million barrels per day from May 1 to boost prices, Kuwait's Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel wrote on Twitter.

But as Algerian oil expert Nazim Zouioueche told official news agency APS, any impact will likely be temporary due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Algeria's economy exposed.

The price collapse has destroyed Algeria's revenue projections, with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune acknowledging the "vulnerability" of the country's oil-dependent economy.

It is "imperative to put an end to bad practices instilled over a period of financial well-being, such as waste and a spirit of laziness and overconsumption", Tebboune has said.

His words might be too little, too late, as the drop in prices, the coronavirus and ongoing political uncertainty create a perfect financial and social storm.

'Financial abyss'

Algeria "is on the edge of a financial abyss", according to Luis Martinez, North Africa specialist at France's Sciences Po University.

The government decided to slash public spending in March, after oil prices dipped to $22.50.

The country's 2020 budget had been based on an oil price of $50 per barrel, with growth of around 1.8 percent.

Algiers has already announced a 30 percent cut to the state budget, without touching civil servants' wages, as well as cutting its enormous imports bill.

State oil giant Sonatrach is to halve operating and capital expenditure, from $14 billion to $7 billion, in order to preserve foreign currency reserves.

But former Sonatrach CEO Abdelmadjid Attar said in principle, the company "shouldn't have to reduce hydrocarbon production" as the cuts would affect other operations.

Meanwhile, Algeria's foreign reserves dropped to under $60 billion at the end of March, compared to almost $80 billion at the end of 2018 and over $97 billion at the end of 2017.

Some economists are concerned those could quickly run out.

Economist Ahmed Dahmani warns of multiple dangers: a rapid draining of foreign exchange reserves, a worsening budget deficit and balance of payments, a sharp devaluation of the dinar and an inflationary surge, leading to economic recession and mass unemployment.

Bureaucracy, corruption

"The government has no choice but to broaden the tax base, to resort to public debt and negotiate loans," Martinez said. "With the remaining foreign reserves, that should allow it to hold on until 2021. But after that?"

Others worry that Algeria will struggle to diversify its economy away from oil and attract investors.

Economics expert Aderrahmane Mebtoul expressed doubt the country could recover capital that has already left, and said Algeria's "bureaucracy, fossilised financial system and corruption" would keep foreign direct investment away.

With the coronavirus disrupting economies worldwide, the pandemic could provide a scapegoat for the government.

"The Algerian authorities could in fact argue that the economic and financial situation is no better" elsewhere, Martinez said.

But in Algeria, the pandemic follows a protracted political crisis.

The "Hirak" citizens movement that began in February 2019 brought down longtime autocrat Abdelaziz Bouteflika a year ago.

Only the pandemic was able to halt -- perhaps temporarily -- massive weekly anti-government protests.

And a continued collapse in oil prices could prove to be the final straw for a country on the edge.

"It's not the year 2020 that's on trial, but the 20 years of patronage, nepotism and corruption" of Bouteflika's reign, Martinez said.

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