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Vol 56 No 1

Published 9th January 2015


Algeria

The long goodbye

There is unease in Algiers where the focus on the President’s health is obscuring long-term political and economic reform

Algerians worry about their future in a world where oil, which with natural gas still accounts for over 95% of exports, is trading at below US$55 per barrel. It is a world which also contains one big neighbour, Libya, in political meltdown. Yet despite budget cuts and security concerns, the news from Algiers will continue to be dominated by 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s repeated hospitalisations and reported illness. In December, the French rumour-mill went into overdrive about his apparent arrival at the Val de Grâce hospital in Paris; it turned out that the VIP invalid was the President’s lawyer brother, Abdelghani Bouteflika.

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