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UPDATE 1-Tunisia-style uprising unlikely in Morocco -Fitch
January 27, 2011 / 12:49 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Tunisia-style uprising unlikely in Morocco -Fitch

* Morocco has invested in infrastructure, cut poverty

* Morocco has lower inflation than neighbours

TUNIS, Jan 27 (Reuters) - A Tunisia-style uprising is unlikely to take place in Morocco, where the government has invested in infrastructure and made progress in alleviating poverty, Fitch Ratings said on Thursday.

“Fitch considers a Tunisian-style uprising unlikely in Morocco in the medium term,” Maria Malas-Mroueh, a director on Fitch’s sovereign team, told an analysts’ conference call.

Tunisia’s leader Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali fled the country on Jan. 14, after weeks of street protests against repression and poor living standards. The Tunisian uprising has awakened dissent among Arabs across the Middle East and North Afria, where many countries share the same problems.

Inspired by Tunisia, protests have broken out in Egypt where police have struggled to disperse gatherings.

While Morocco boasted lower inflation than its North African neighbours and strong domestic demand helped insulate it from the global financial crisis, social indicators such as poverty and adult literacy rates have lagged Tunisia and Egypt, Malas-Mroueh said.

However, because Morocco has invested in social housing and because its monarch was perceived by Moroccans as a young reformer, the North African country enjoyed relative stability.

“Moroccan authorities have for the past few decades been mobilising considerable resources to improve the situation,” Malas-Mroueh said.

“Poverty has been addressed through the development of social housing ... we have already seen some improvements such as a reduction in unemployment rates.”

Morocco’s sovereign debt is rated BBB- by Fitch. (Reporting by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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