Algeria: reform before demands turn revolutionary, Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck (Elcano, Spain)

In a context of social and economic distress, Algeria is no longer able to maintain its current approach to the welfare state while avoiding deep structural reforms.

The challenges facing Algeria today are numerous. Yet the major problems are socio-economic and closely related to the massive drop in oil revenues. The population’s habits and expectations of social benefits through a generous yet ineffective subsidy system are clashing with an ever decreasing budget. The older generation’s commitment to the current system’s ‘historical legitimacy’ might have a hard time containing the tensions emerging amongst the population, especially disenchanted youth. Algeria has yet to adopt a comprehensive set of socio-economic reforms and its old rulers have to commit to generational renewal and to power sharing before demands start becoming revolutionary.