The Sheriff’s kingdom of Morocco (el-Magreb el-Aksa) has been an independent member of the UN since 1956. Its legislative power is devolved to a deliberative assembly, made up of 74 members, currently non-electives. The government has been ruled by a president since 1956 and several ministers collaborate with it, including that of the Hubus, that is, of religious institutions and foundations. The state, whose reunification took place gradually (see below), is constituted by the former French Morocco, now called “South zone”, from the former Morocco Spanish or “North zone”, from the former intermational zone of Tangier or “region” or “area of Tangier” and from the southern Morocco or “area of Tarfaya” (Cape Yuby). This reunification is not to be considered complete, since the Moroccan national claims also concern some Saharan territories (the Spanish Sahara and Mauritania) and some Spanish “enclaves” that still exist on the current territory of Morocco: to the south the area of Ifni and to the north the presidios of Ceuta and Melilla and other smaller towns.
Economic unification will not be that fast. It is currently based on monetary unification (see below), which has also caused considerable disturbances in the Northern area, which has remained underdeveloped compared to the rest of the country. The only internal barrier that remains is the customs barrier that encloses the Tangier area.
The European element has undoubtedly made a notable, or rather decisive, contribution to the country’s economic development.
It is especially the extractive industry, which has made the greatest progress in recent years; bringing the index of mining production to 100 in 1949, it had already risen to 200 in 1958; the minerals are largely exported. The development of this sector of production mainly concerns lead, zinc and cobalt ores; the production of phosphates also marked a considerable increase (1958: 6.3 million t). The production of iron and manganese remained at a remarkable level. Other mineral products include anthracite and petroleum, the latter decreasing. There are several projects concerning the opening of new mines (of iron and potash) and for the processing of minerals extracted on site. The research is aimed at
But it is in the field of agriculture that the action of the new state has made itself felt most decisively with the “operation Labor”; it is an operation concerning agricultural mechanization. In 1957-58 162,000 hectares were worked by tractors; in 1958-59 they increased to 350,000 ha. It has been applied in the plains of rich crops: progress of wheat instead of barley, flax and legumes. The ownership of the machines will gradually pass into the hands of the newly established agricultural cooperatives.
The government’s effort is also aimed at reforestation, which involves an increase in the wooded area of 75,000 ha. Eucalyptus forests have been extended in the Gharb to supply the raw material to the existing paper industry in Morocco. The government then encouraged the cultivation of cotton (Tadla) and the experiments of the irrigated cultivation of sugar beet continued. Significant progress has been made in the production of first fruits (potatoes, tomatoes, onions, artichokes and legumes, carrots, turnips, cucumbers) and citrus fruits (oranges), whose exports have significantly increased. Among the first fruits, whose cultivated area for more than 25% is in the hands of Europeans, tomatoes by far predominate, followed by potatoes. Fruit growing, on the other hand, is almost exclusively a creation of European colonization and mainly concerns citrus fruits. Viticulture too, for the production of table grapes and wine, is largely the work of Europeans. The olive tree, on the other hand, is in the hands of the Moroccans: there are 13 million plants in the country. One of the riches of the country is then constituted by the breeding (sheep and goat).
Ultimately, the country tends to increase exports and limit imports that are not essential to its economic activity. Morocco has tried at the same time to broaden the range of its exports to the countries of the Eastern Bloc and Black Africa, although trade with France is still preponderant: 50% of imports and 60% of exports.
Finances. – Public finances are divided into two annual budgets, the ordinary one and the one for development, which are of considerable interest due to the effects on the country’s economic situation. For the financial year 1959, expenditures of 36.9 billion Moroccan francs were allocated to the development budget (14.3 for public works, 1.8 for public investments in industrial projects, and the remainder divided between telecommunications and other sectors. intervention), with a slight increase in the expenditure allocated for the previous year (36.7 billion francs). Since internal resources are insufficient to finance the development budget, US aid of 40 million dollars was planned for 1959; in 1957 and 1958 such aid had been $ 50 million. Expenses amounting to 140.9 billion francs were allocated to the ordinary administrative budget, against 132.8 in 1958 and 110.8 in 1957; although no final figures are available, it is believed that the deficit was rather high. The public debt of Morocco, as of January 1, 1958, was made up as follows: direct debt, 145.9 billion francs and 77.1 million pesetas; guaranteed debt, 35.2 billion francs and 11.9 million pesetas. The debt of the local authorities amounted to 17.2 billion francs on the same date.
With a series of measures announced on October 17, 1959, the Moroccan government addressed the country’s economic difficulties, exacerbated in 1959 by the devaluation of the French franc and the Spanish peseta. The parity of the Moroccan franc, which had remained on the basis of 420 to 1 dollar until that date, was raised to 506, with a cut of 17%; consequently, the exchange rate against the French franc went from 0.85 to 1.025 Moroccan francs. At the same time, following the example of what was implemented by France, a new monetary unit was created, called dirham, equal to 100 Mar. francs, and with the exchange rate of 1.025 against the heavy franc (5.060 dirham = 1 US dollar). For Morocco public policy, please check loverists.com.
From 1 July 1959 the State Bank of Morocco, controlled by French capital, was replaced, as a Moroccan issuing institution, by the National Bank of Morocco, which, despite being independent, continues to have cooperative relations with the Bank. of France. It should be remembered that, despite some temporary limitations on payments abroad, Morocco remained in the French currency area.