King of Morocco: slow in the face of the earthquake but fast in the face of Macron

“M6” arrived accompanied by dozens of cars with smoked windows and officials in white gloves. He left just as quickly, without completely dissipating the discomfort.

Tags : Morocco, France, Mohamed VI, Emmanuel Macron, earthquake, Pegasus,

Mohammed VI: Don’t touch my despot!

The King of Morocco took his time to react to the tragedy that struck his country, but he was quick to make his differences with Macron known.

Three days, three interminable days that the villagers, watching over their dead or endlessly searching for their loved ones under the rubble, spent watching for the arrival of their sovereign. But all is well, since Mohammed VI finally deigned to appear in Morocco, visit a hospital and donate blood. Royal blood, good people. Until his arrival, the kingdom was walled in awkward silence.

Not a voice was to be raised before that of the king. The Prime Minister had just tweeted, the others were waiting. “M6” arrived accompanied by dozens of cars with smoked windows and officials in white gloves. Push yourself, hoodlums, and don’t film, eh? A journalist was checked: The security services imagined that he was hiding miniature cameras in his sunglasses… Paranoid, M6? Here’s an idea. He left just as quickly, without completely dissipating the discomfort.

He was simply in Paris, we have the right, right? He could have been in Gabon, where he spends a lot of time in his heavenly villa, or in the Seychelles, whose beaches lined with coconut trees he loves. This period of time is normal: there are few daily flights connecting Paris to Marrakech. Now that he’s here, everything will be fine; he was filmed, looking attentive, chairing work meetings. He closed the sequence by giving his “very high instructions”.

He arrived without hurry

He only chose 4 countries for humanitarian aid: Spain, the United Kingdom, the Emirates and Qatar. Four monarchies supporting the principle of its sovereignty over Western Sahara. Humanitarianism weighed very little compared to geopolitics. “Morocco is a regional power. Accepting too much humanitarian aid would be recognizing one’s weakness,” recalls a former ambassador to Rabat. 3,000 dead, 5,000 injured, nearly 300,000 people affected, it’s very sad, but the prestige of Morocco and that of its sovereign are well worth it, right? And then, it’s well known, all these humanitarian workers who rush around in the greatest disorder do more harm than good.

Morocco is thinking about its wounds, and now is not the time for embarrassing questions. For example on the political career of M6, which aroused so much hope when he ascended the throne in 1999. It was a party then, it was over with this stifling heaviness which prevailed under Hassan II, terrible Driss Basri, Minister of the Interior, and the prison of Tazmamart, where Hassan II left his opponents to languish in the room of rats or tuberculosis patients, after having subjected them to long sessions of torture. M6, immediately called “The King of the destitute”, would be the new Juan Carlos, leading his people with a firm hand on the path to constitutional monarchy.

Little by little, the young sovereign locked down the regime. Certainly, no more Tazmamart, no more Driss Basri, no more scarecrows, but a large quilt resting on all his people. “During the time of Hassan II, he despite everything had a left-wing opposition and an Islamist opposition. We didn’t have to stand against him, but we could exist. The left even arrived in government during the last years of Hassan II. Today, the press is even less free and the entire opposition is gagged,” assures Jean-Pierre Tu quoi, author of “Dernier Roi” (Grasset). M6 king of the deprived, that can make you smile. The young sovereign had to share with his brothers and sisters the torture of Hassan II, but he is considered today as the richest man in Africa. He invested very wisely in the hotel industry. “Basically, Morocco belongs to him. It has almost half the valuation of the Casablanca Stock Exchange,” adds Tuquoi. But since he came to power, a real middle class has struggled to emerge, illiteracy remains a plague and poverty has not reduced sufficiently.

A cozy nest in Paris

Regardless of all that, the royal obsession is Western Sahara. “Mohammed VI was intoxicated by the American about-face under Donald Trump and Spain’s change of footing in favor of the “Moroccanness” of Western Sahara. He was sure that France would follow this path. Macron did not do it, relations became frosty,” says Vincent Hugeux, Africa specialist.

And the French president dared to address directly, via a video, the Moroccan people to show his solidarity. His Majesty did not appreciate it, it seems. We slapped the impudent person by announcing, in a press release, that Macron’s trip was no longer on the agenda. After the disappointments in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria, France is silent, and M6 is rubbing its hands. We no longer even talk about the Pegasus affair, this spyware installed by Rabat in Macron’s phone, nor the activities of drug traffickers from the Rif province, who are flooding Europe with their productions. “It’s the elephant in the room,” smiles a diplomat. Here M6 is at peace, he will be able to leave for Gabon and the Seychelles. Or in Paris, in his cozy nest, a splendid private mansion not far from the Eiffel Tower.

Anne-Sophie Mercier

Le Canard enchaîné, sept 20, 2023

#Morocco #MohamedVI #France #Macron #Earthquake #Pegasus

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