Monday, 13 September 2010

Sarkozy appoints economic envoy in Franco-Algerian economic co-operation

Last week (Algeria Politics & Security - 03.09.10), we remarked on the 28th August article in Algeria's L'Expression, which many interpreted as a clear threat to France in the context of the Hassani case, namely that France could not afford to be excluded from the US$286 billion being spent on infrastructural projects over the next four years. Unsurprisingly, three days later, France dropped the Hassani case.

Eight days later, on 8th September, the Elysée announced President Nicolas Sarkozy's appointment of former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to head an economic mission of economic co-operation between France and Algeria.

Sarkozy said: “The mission will seek to identify and remove obstacles between France and Algeria for their respective economic investments.” Relocations between France and Algeria have been at a low point recently and the question of their economic relations was discussed at meetings between Elysée Secretary General Claude Gueant and Ouyahia in Algiers on both 21st February and 20th June.

Raffarin's appointment, as Sarkozy made clear, is designed to show France's new found willingness to invest and do business in Algeria. It is unlikely that his appointment, following so closely on Algeria's not very veiled threat, is entirely coincidental.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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