Experts: Bouteflika serious regarding economic revival plan
Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has initiated an ambitious plan, described by several sources as the Algerian "Marshal Program", focusing on huge public expenditure during a four year period, i.e. before the end of his second term in 2009. The July 11 edition of Al-Hayat newspaper said the plan directs $55 billion for reviving the Algerian economy. The Algerian president signaled his serious intentions to implement the program by sacking officials, who opposed it, especially the minister of economy and finance.
Experts in Algerian affairs assured that the local economy is in good conditions with a huge surplus of hard currency, due to the significant hike in oil prices, and especially since the budget of 2005 was calculated according to the assumption that the price of oil barrel will be $19, while at present it is almost $60.
Bouteflika's program set several priorities; the first among them is fighting unemployment, as at present one of every two young people under 25 years old is said to be unemployed. Another priority is to the housing sector as the program calls to build 1 million housing units; in the public works sector especially in the public transportation field, the program calls to connect the various regions with modern network of highways, construction of metro in the Algerian capital and a railway of 1200 kilometers length.
The program includes also the supply electricity and gas to rural regions, development of agriculture, water desalination and development of the county undeveloped areas.
Those who object this plan fear that corruption in the Algerian administration may cause to these huge sums to reach the wrong places, although they believe the program can bring the desired solution for the Algerian citizens.