Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reconnect With the Progress of the Algerian People

Reconnect with the Progress of the Algerian People

Editorial of Fraternité Issue No. 32 (New Series)

The commemoration of the 57th anniversary of the Nov. 1, 1954 start of the armed struggle for national independence arrives this year within a context of particularly profound events, both present and future.

The direct impact of NATO intervention in Libya on the sovereignty and integrity of the Mahgrib and SAHEL (portions of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea) regions, particularly through the massive movement of weapons and terrorists groups, are a direct threat to Algeria.

So the same ones who first intervened militarily in Libya -- the French, U.S. and British governments -- hypocritically pretend to be concerned. ...

The physical liquidation of Qaddafi and his family by French and U.S. aircraft and the militias, marks a turning point in the global and regional situation because it was the first time that NATO has bombed a country to kill a president.

At the same time and far from turning the page on the the Libyan conflict, the assassination is an exacerbating factor in Libya's tribal war -- with implications for the entire region.

This is why the Workers Party (PT) is working to ensure the success of the upcoming Dec. 10-12 Emergency Conference against wars of occupation, against interference in the internal affairs of countries, and in defense of the integrity and sovereignty of nations.

Activists are already conducting a political campaign, collecting signatures around the conference's common appeal, signed by the respective secretary generals of the General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) and PT.

But, as the issue relates to Libya, in addition to a foreign military presence, the plundering of resources in this country (sovereign wealth funds, oil and gas) and contracts for the reconstruction estimated at $470 billion, there is pressure being applied right now on our country. European and U.S. officials cross Algiers in an incessant waltz with the goal of snatching up contracts in the $286 billion stimulus package and to get the government to back off the provisions contained in the 2009 and 2010 Complementary Finance Act, especially the 51/49 rule, with its national bias and pre-emptive rights in favor of the state.

These pressures and those seeking to involve Algeria in the mire of Libya are alternated with damning reports on human rights originating from NGOs and U.S. and European institutions.

In social terms, the dynamic that has been triggered since January deepens, reaping new victories for the workers and leading pensioners to call for immediate satisfaction to their legitimate demands. And the quantity begins to transform into quality.

Indeed, the demand for nationalization fuses different sectors of production, while the mobilization of unemployed youth is unwavering.

The Algerian revolution had as its first objective the release of the Algerian people from the chains of oppression and exploitation which maintained colonialism. ...

Now, 50 years after independence, 20 percent of the population lives in poverty, below the poverty line.

And though within the economic and social sphere -- contradictions notwithstanding -- new conquests are being registered, democracy still remains to be conquered. For not only was the process of the political reforms undertaken by the president biased, but members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) in particular have drained the interesting measures aimed at cleaning up political practices and ensuring a break, even a very partial one, with the one-party system.

In doing so, it's a deadly status quo that is being imposed by the FLN, endangering the nation as evidenced by the "advice" given by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on his visit to Algiers.

It is well established once again that democracy cannot emanate from archaic institutions -- remnants of the one-party system. True political reform can only come through the election of a sovereign constituent assembly which, by involving the people in a wide debate, drafts a new constitution devoted to a real democracy by rebuilding the republic, embodying popular sovereignty.

While major uncertainties weigh over an entire region, it is time to reconnect with the progress of the Algerian people for national emancipation, of completing a clean break with the institutions and policies that have slowed the sovereignty of the nation.

- Louisa Hanoune
Nov. 1, 2011
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Facing FLN resistance to the head of state's political reforms, the PT calls on President Bouteflika to respect his political obligations

The secretary general of the Workers Party (PT) yesterday in Algiers issued a call to prosecute those "Involved" in the policy of privatization of state enterprises and she pressed President Bouteflika to order an investigation by the General Inspectorate of Finances (IGF) on the process of privatization.

"For industrial development, the re-nationalization of national industrial complexes is unavoidable," said Louisa Hanoune, who recalled the minister of industry's commitment to devote 25-30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the revival of domestic industry.

Hanoune called for the re-nationalization of state groups that have been the object of privatization. This is in light of the wave of protests and strikes - initiated by workers in different economic entities - publicly calling for a re-nationalization of their respective companies.

These include the employees of the cement company M'sila, who have been on strike for five months, as well as National Industrial Gases Company (ENGI), up to 66 percent of which was repurchased in 2005 by the German firm Linde. They also include the Steel Industry Complex of El Hajar (Annaba), the Enicable Skikda and the dairy Draa Ben Khedda.

In this regard, Hanoune has described as "stupidity personified" the outburst by the dairy's director general, who openly accused the Workers' Party to be the instigator behind the employees' revolt for the re-nationalization of the company and the sending of an IGF commission to investigate what they see as a dangerous overtaking of management.

"They (i.e., the workers) have enough political awareness to assert their rights. The proof," the PT secretary general hammered, "is that these employees are not demanding higher wages, but in the strict interest of the national economy and moved by patriotic considerations, they are demanding re-nationalization of the dairy complex."

Hanoune, who deferred to the head of state, assessed, moreover, that nothing prevents the state from being able to take back two private groups, Tonic Packaging and Djezzy, or from recovering companies that belonged to it.

The PT spokesperson also criticized governmental policy to purge the debts of private companies, thereby putting them on equal footing with public enterprises.

Commenting on the results of the last tripartite summit, Hanoune also welcomed the "gains" extracted by the UGTA Trade Union Confederation (revaluation of the guaranteed national minimum wage, the agreement in principle for the abolition of Article 87-bis of the labor code and pension reform, ...). She, however, indicated that these results should not obscure another less rosy reality - that 20 percent of Algerians are living below the poverty line, knowing that a salary of "dignity does not exceed 22,500 Algerian dinars for an "average" five-member family.

On the political front, Hanoune stressed that the process of political reforms initiated by the head of state and submitted to a review by the National People's Assembly (APN) has been aborted, attributing the responsibility to the parties of the presidential alliance, notably the National Liberation Front (FLN). (...).

- La Tribune, Oct. 23, 2011
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For the Re-nationalization of Companies Sold to Foreigners

Inspired by the Venezuelan model, the secretary general of the Workers Party, Louisa Hanoune, has called for the re-nationalization of Algerian public companies ceded to foreign interests as well as those sold and operating under the framework of shareholders. She also demands that the General Inspectorate of Finances (IGF) investigate the process of privatization.

These are the two declarations Louisa Hanoune made at a meeting with her party's executive committee held yesterday in Algiers.

Deploring at length the critical state of public Algerian companies, Louisa Hanoune emphasized the application of the 2009 Complementary Finance Act, which favors Algerian public corporations before private ones in the granting of deals.

To this end, Louisa Hanoune argued for the re-nationalization of the Al-Hajar complex sold to Arcellor Mittal and the National Industrial Gases Company (ENGI), assigned, in part, to the German company Linde, among others.

Thus, Louisa Hanoune calls for a national debate on the nation's big economic trends to secure the future of future generations.

- Le Courrier d'Algerie, Oct. 23

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