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Morocco

Yearbook 1998

Morocco. As a result of the November 1997 parliamentary elections, Socialist veteran Abderrahmane Youssoufi was appointed new Prime Minister in February. It was the first time in King Hassan II's 37 years as regent as an opposition leader he became prime minister. According to Countryaah, Youssoufi's party USFP, the Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires, became the largest in parliament with 57 out of 325 seats. The government came to consist of seven parties, from socialists and former communists to royalists, as well as several independent members. Former Prime Minister Abd al-Latif Filali became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. In the government statement, Youssoufi pledged to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara, strengthen relations with the other North African countries and assert M's claim to the two Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla. He also promised social improvements, increased respect for human rights and help to Berber who want to develop his culture. However, assessors considered that the policy was unclear.

1998 Morocco

In May, Youssoufi lifted house arrest for Abd as-Salam Yasin, leader of the country's largest Islamist group al-Adl wa-l-ihsan (Justice and Charity). Yassine had been in house arrest since 1989. Islamism is growing in M., among others. because of the country's economic problems, but it is not militant. Another manifestation of the difficult economic situation is the flight from the country. According to official figures, about 300,000 people leave M. each year. Most are young - almost 90% of Moroccans aged 20-29 want to leave the country, an opinion poll showed in March. The flight can be dangerous. In 1998, Spanish authorities estimated that about 1,000 Moroccans had drowned during the crossing to Spain over the past five years.

A Spanish passenger plane crashed in northern M. in September. All 38 aboard died, two Moroccans and the rest Spaniards.

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