Algerian Authorities Warn of Greater Social, Economic Hardships in 2018

Algeria Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia. (AFP)
Algeria Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia. (AFP)
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Algerian Authorities Warn of Greater Social, Economic Hardships in 2018

Algeria Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia. (AFP)
Algeria Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia. (AFP)

The “work plan” of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia is expected to garner wide support at parliament where it will be up for a vote on Sunday, predicted observers of the political situation in the North African country.

The premier's document acknowledges that the Algeria people will face difficulties in 2018 due to the lack of financial resources.

Islamist lawmakers announced that they will oppose the plan that was drafted during President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s fourth term in office. Their influence will be however limited at parliament because they are in the minority.

Ouyahia’s plan expresses government skepticism about the possibility of improving the country's income from the selling of fuel during the next two years, revealed a copy of the document obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat.

This has prompted the PM to voice his intention to amend the loan law through printing more hard currency.

The possibility to obtain a loan from the Central Bank has not been ruled out.

Economic and financial experts predicted that this step will create great inflation and spark a rise in the majority of products, which will ultimately keep the deficit as it is.

Furthermore, a local newspaper reported Ouyahia as saying that should the Central Bank fail to print more hard cash, the government may not have the sufficient funds to pay the salaries of employees for November.



White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas militants soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with a Gaza ceasefire proposal offered by US President Joe Biden.

Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Ukraine peace summit and was asked about diplomatic efforts to get an agreement for Hamas to release some hostages held since Oct. 7 in exchange for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks.

Sullivan said he had spoken briefly to one of the main interlocutors, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and that they would speak again about Gaza on Sunday while both are in Switzerland for the Ukraine conference, Reuters reported.

Hamas has welcomed the ceasefire proposal, but insists any agreement must secure an end to the war, a demand Israel still rejects. Israel described Hamas's response to the new US peace proposal as total rejection.

Sullivan said that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas's response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," he said.

He said US officials believe there remains an avenue to an agreement and that the next step will be for Qatari and Egyptian mediators to talk to Hamas and "go through what can be worked with and what really can’t be worked with."

"We anticipate a back-and-forth between the mediators and Hamas. We’ll see where we stand at that point. We will keep consulting with the Israelis and then hopefully at some point next week we’ll be able to report to you where we think things stand and what we see as being the next step to try to bring this to closure," he said.