- The Financial Cancer That Is Eating Away at the Heart of Algeria Jean-Pierre Sereni · 17 January Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god, the Algerian financial system conceals two-time bombs, each as dangerous as the other for the future of the country: an insane mass of subsidies which weigh a good quarter of the GDP and a constantly expanding budget deficit of almost the same dimensions. (...)
- Storm Warning in Egypt Jean-Pierre Sereni · 13 January In line with an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Egyptian Central Bank has stopped supporting the Egyptian pound since the beginning of the year. The local currency is now trading at a little under EGP30 to the dollar. In a single year, it has lost 70% of its value. (...)
- What you’ve always wanted to know about the IMF Jean-Pierre Sereni · September 2022 IMF: three letters that have long haunted the economic news of many countries having gained their independence at the end of WW2. The international financial institution dispatches its experts to countries "in need of help” on every continent. Why and how? Orient XXI answers your questions on (...)
At El-Hadjar Algeria’s Hopes of Building a Steel Industry Have Gone Up in Smoke
· July 2022
With the demolition of the first of the two blast furnaces at the El-Hadjar complex, in Annaba wilaya, the pioneers’ dream of a flourishing steel industry, a symbol of modernity and of the hopes for a prosperous future in the newly independent Algeria of the 1970s, has disappeared.
The news (...)
- Egypt’s Military Economy Under Threat from the IMF Jean-Pierre Sereni · May 2022 Struggling with a very serious financial crisis, Egypt has once again appealed to the International Monetary Fund. This time, however, the financial institution may challenge the privileges which Egypt’s military sector enjoys to the detriment of its private counterpart. A prospect which does (...)
Algeria. Government Hesitation Paralyses Growth
· March 2022
Rising inflation, persistent massive unemployment, imports at half-mast: by timidity as much as because of the choice of the duo that runs Algeria, economic reforms are on hold. The current rise in the price of oil is not likely to change the situation for an impoverished population.
A bit (...)
Gas Flareup Caused by Sanctions Against Iran and Russia
· November 2021
The explosion in the price of gas is a threat both to consumers and to growth, especially in the West. But it is actually the West, through its sanctions against Iran and Russia, which has largely brought about this crisis.
The debate is raging in Europe and the US, with almost nobody spared (...)
Storm-Clouds Are Brewing Over Egypt’s Economy
· October 2021
Despite its favourable statistics, the outlook for Egypt’s economy is uncertain indeed, so deeply is the country in debt and dependent on the speculative capital invested in its economy, attracted by high interest rates. A model which, in many respects, resembles that of Lebanon.
Two of the (...)
- Egypt Opens the Debt Tap as Wide as It Will Go Jean-Pierre Sereni · June 2021 Over the past few months, the IMF and several other international financial institutions have lent huge sums to Marshal Sisi’s regime. But the expected reforms are slow in coming and the resumption of the tourist trade is half-hearted. For the population at large, austerity is still the order of (...)
- Who Will Pay for the Rafales Delivered to Egypt? Jean-Pierre Sereni · May 2021 The announcement of the sale of 30 Rafale warplanes to Egypt caused something of a stir. That was partly because of the country’s disastrous human rights record, but also because of the questions raised by a delivery for which people might wonder whether it is the French taxpayer who will pay. (...)
Algeria: Dark Days Ahead for the Oil Sector
· February 2021
While the political crisis continues in Algeria, the country sees its oil resources diminishing dangerously. Whence the debate in Algeria over the future of that industry and the need to call upon foreign companies, which the oil minister who has just been sacked has paid for.
Will foreign (...)
- Algeria. President Tebboune’s Immobilism Will Lead Nowhere Jean-Pierre Sereni · September 2020 Nine months after his disputed election in December 2019, President Abdelmahid Tebboune has still to tackle the financial and political crises which are strangling his country a little more each day. This two-fold incapacity does not bode well for the future considering that the rapid exhaustion (...)
Origins of Military Power in Algeria
· June 2020
The political preponderance of the armed forces in Algeria emerged only after a long period of confrontation following the outbreak of the war of liberation in 1954. And after the sidelining of the political figures whose influence at the start of the uprising was decisive.
Throughout the (...)
- Will President Sisi Ride Out the Coronavirus and the Convulsions of the Egyptian Economy? Jean-Pierre Sereni · March 2020 While the army continues to tighten its grip on the economy, Egypt is facing new challenges, including a towering debt which is increasingly difficult to pay down and the collapse of the tourist trade due to the coronavirus. Delayed containment measures do not appear to be able to stop the (...)
Egypt. The Army’s Cheap Dodges
· January 2020
The Egyptian army has its finger in every aspect of the country’s economy, not just the armaments industry. Few sectors have escaped its voracious appetite. An unprecedented study reveals the damages wrought by a system marked by low productivity, opacity and collusion schemes.
How did this (...)
The Arab Revolutions in Historical Perspective
Alain Gresh, Jean-Pierre Sereni
· November 2019
Once again, from Algeria to Iraq, the peoples of the Arab world are in open rebellion. What are the stumbling blocks that stand in the way of their aspirations? How does history shed light on the present situation?
We are witnessing the second wave of protest and rebellion in the Arab word. (...)
- Egypt: The Economy Is Better Off Than the Egyptians Jean-Pierre Sereni · November 2019 Three years after signing an agreement with the IMF worth 12 billion dollars (9.3 billion pounds sterling), the Egyptian economy is showing respectable results in many sectors, such as growth, inflation and unemployment but the population has hardly benefited from this. The greediness of the (...)
Turkey’s Buffeted Economy
· May 2019
On 23 June, voters are called to vote again to elect the mayor of Istanbul, after the opposition’s victory was invalidated. The deterioration of Turkey’s economic situation is likely to weigh heavily on the result.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s main adversary is no longer political but financial. The (...)
An Algerian Named Abdelaziz Bouteflika
· April 2019
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika died on September 17, 2021. Orient XXI had drawn his portrait at the time he was forced to give up the presidency of Algeria. A look back at an itinerary that is intertwined with that of his country.
It is hard to imagine behind the inert, swollen mask (...)
- Interview Would Making the Dinar Convertible in 2022 Stimulate the Algerian Economy? Jean-Pierre Sereni · September 2018 How is it possible to rouse from its torpor Algerian society which has scarcely evolved in twenty years of Abelaziz Bouteflika’s presidency? A seasoned industrialist believes he knows the answer: the end of foreign exchange controls in 2022 and the free convertibility of the national currency, (...)
- Editorial Persistent Stagnation of Arab Economies Jean-Pierre Sereni · October 2017 Last week a faint breath of optimism could be detected at the annual meeting in Washington of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group: nearly all the countries of Europe and North America have in fact recovered from the crisis. Not so our Middle-Eastern neighbours. In (...)
- Cheap Oil at its Third Anniversary Jean-Pierre Sereni · April 2017 Less than six months after their November 2016 agreement to raise the price of crude oil to 58 dollars a barrel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members realised that supply still exceeded demand. In a single week, at the beginning of March 2017, this bitter truth (...)
- The Illusory Reform of the Algerian Economy Jean-Pierre Sereni · January 2017 Visiting Algiers in November, Jean-François Dauphin, chief of the International Monetary Fund’s mission for Algeria, expressed the hope that in future the country’s “development would be led more by the private sector and be less dependent on petroleum.” In other words, the private sector should (...)