Morocco: the mask that the Covid-19 brings to the economy

More than 32 billion dirhams disbursed to counter the Covid-19 epidemic in all its dimensions, this gives an idea of ​​the bitter fight that the Morocco is leading to limit the economic, social and political consequences in the wake of this health crisis that is darkening this beginning of the 21st century. It must be said that the hour is really serious. Support must be given to companies and their employees who are now on technical unemployment in the formal sector, but also to informal workers who have been forced to close shop.

The state has declared a state of health emergency and containment. Most companies have opted for telework or leave without pay, a situation of non-return of money already experienced by actors in the informal sector. Local shops are no longer allowed to stay open after 6 p.m. Ditto for taxi drivers, a rare commodity in these times of pandemic. Around 7 p.m., the Moroccan streets are only frequented by the police, who set up roadblocks everywhere. After a few days, citizens began to complain and demand compensation. If some have enough to live on despite this poor health and economic past, others are under pressure and are anxious to receive their unemployment benefits or the financial assistance offered by the Moroccan Economic Watch Committee.

Read also Morocco facing the coronavirus: “Did you say” confined “? “

Vital sectors affected

In the meantime, many sectors are suffering the blow and are paying a heavy price for the Covid-19. This is the case for tourism, transport and automobile construction. The closure of Morocco’s air borders has resulted in the closure of several hotels in the country, transforming the 12.93 million tourists who visited the kingdom in 2019 into ghosts haunting the memories of Moroccans.

This cataclysm would threaten no less than 500,000 jobs and 8,500 companies directly or indirectly linked to the country’s hotel business.
© DR

Tourism

The figures speak for themselves: ” 34.1 billion dirhams in loss of tourism turnover in 2020, including 14 billion for the hotel industry. An overall drop of almost 6 million tourists, for a total loss of 11.6 million overnight stays, ”according to the National Tourism Confederation. And this cataclysm threatens at least 500,000 jobs and 8,500 companies directly or indirectly linked to the country’s hotel activity. “I am a receptionist in a hotel, confides Narjiss, tears in my eyes. My salary allowed me to pay my rent here in Tangier, do my monthly shopping and not beg for money to make ends meet. Now my employer just told me to leave … But where does he want me to go, seriously? “

Ce chômage technique a des répercussions dramatiques sur la vie de Narjiss et des milliers de personnes travaillant dans le même secteur qu’elle. « Je n’ai pas de quoi payer mon loyer du mois d’avril. Le propriétaire de mon logement m’a donné un ultimatum : soit je paye d’ici le 10, soit je sors de chez lui. Je n’ai personne pour m’héberger ici et rentrer chez mes parents à Meknès est impossible avec l’interdiction des voyages entre les villes ! » nous raconte à son tour Kenza, cuisinière dans le restaurant d’un hôtel à Marrakech.

Lire aussi Maroc : faire avec une économie au ralenti

Le transport

Du côté de la mobilité, c’est la paralysie totale, à l’exception des poids lourds transportant les marchandises de base et les produits de première nécessité, entre les villes ou vers l’international. Désormais, sur terre et dans les airs, plus personne n’a le droit de circuler. Par conséquent, Royal Air Maroc, la compagnie aérienne marocaine, a annoncé récemment qu’elle éprouve de grandes difficultés financières et n’est pas en mesure de payer tous ses 3 420 salariés et 4 000 employés dans les filiales ce mois d’avril. « Je trouve cela inacceptable ! Comment une entreprise comme la RAM, avec une trésorerie généreuse, se dit avoir du mal à payer 2 ou 3 mois ses salariés. C’est inadmissible… ! C’est une compagnie nationale. Elle appartient à l’État. C’est à l’État d’injecter ce qu’il faut en ces temps de pandémie », s’indigne Ali, ex-steward à la RAM.

Lire aussi L’Afrique face au Covid-19 : l’aviation africaine clouée au sol

Road transport no longer sells tickets since travel from town to town has been banned.
© DR

Anyway, suffocation is there, in the numbers too. According to the International Air Transport Association IATA, the pandemic could cause Morocco to suffer losses of around 4.9 million in terms of passengers and a shortfall of $ 728 million. In this aviation sector, nearly 225,000 jobs would in any case be threatened.

Same story on the coach side. At the Tangier bus station, vehicles are parked and have not left their places since March 24. Road transport no longer sells tickets since travel from town to town has been banned. The same goes for rail transport (with the exception of a few shuttles) and taxi and city bus drivers. “We broke our heads with this corona, corona, corona! Let us work damn it, and come what may! We are sick all the time, and that has never stopped us from driving and carrying passengers! »Moves Redouane, a bus driver who has been on forced work stoppage for 30 days now.

Read also Morocco: when the coronavirus closes mosques

 
 
 
 

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