Four months after surviving a coup attempt, King Hassan of Morocco is pressing ahead with a vigorous reform programme to improve Moroccan living standards and weed out corruption in the public administration.
Four months after surviving a coup attempt, King Hassan of Morocco is pressing ahead with a vigorous reform programme to improve Moroccan living standards and weed out corruption in the public administration. Four former Moroccan cabinet ministers arrested in Rabat on Tuesday (2 November) have been charged with corruption.
Following the 4 August dismissal of his former government and the formation of a new one under Premier Karim Lamrani. King Hassan announced he would carry out a rigorous crackdown on corruption in government-- particularly against officials who extract money out of largely illiterate Moroccans in return for routine paperwork.
To improve the standard of living for his people, King Hassan is distributing thousands of acres (hectares) to landless peasants, minimum wages are to be raised, certain taxes abolished and the price of sugar, a staple food, is being reduced.
This compilation of VISNEWS library footage concentrates on the reign of King Hassan over the last two years, and in particular his rule since the July coup attempt.
Besides being the ruler of a nation of 14 million people, he is also their Islamic spiritual leader. The King, target of an assassination attempt on the day of his 42nd birthday in July, has survived a series of plots against him. His 10-year reign has been marked by two mass trials of people charged with trying to overthrow him.
King Hassan's position in the Arab world could be described as middle of the road. Prior to hosting the Fifth Arab Summit meeting, in Rabat in 1969, the King condemned terrorist tactics used in the Middle East Crisis, but said he was in favour of those who fought openly on the battlefield.
The monarch has been referred to as a "political chess master", particularly as concerns his relations between East and West. This year, and following the abortive coup attempt, King Hassan has entertained both Vice-President Spiro Agnew of the U.S. and Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin, on separate occasions.
SYNOPSIS: King Hassan of Morocco appointed a new fifteen-man government in August, following the abortive coup attempt in July. Key men in the new government are Prime Minister Mohamed Karim Lamrani and Defence Minister, General Mohamed Oufkir. The new government includes ten ministers who served in the previous cabinet.
In the July coup attempt, a dozen high ranking officers led an attack on the Palace. Striking during birthday celebrations for the forty-two year old King, the attackers killed nearly one-hundred people. King Hussein of Jordan joined the Moroccan monarch in mourning for those killed.
Within the Arab world, King Hassan's position could be described as middle of the road. In December of 1969, the King greeted Arab leaders arriving for the Fifth Arab Summit Conference in Rabat. Prior to the conference, King Hassan had condemned the use of terrorist tactics in the Middle East conflict. He said he was for those who fight openly on the battlefield.
The domestic situation, however, most concerns King Hassan now. He is pressing ahead with a vigorous reform programme to improve Moroccan living standards. A new tax structure is shifting the burden for building dams from the poor to the rich. Thousands of acres of armland are being distributed to landless peasants and the price of sugar, a staple food, is being reduced.
On the international scene, King Hassan has been referred to as a "political chess master". Only two weeks after the assassination attempt, the King welcomed U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew. The two men discussed the attempted coup and the Middle East situation.
Then, in October, Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin was the guest o King Hassan at the Royal Palace, south of Rabat. MR. Kosygin had just completed a visit to neighbouring Algeria. King Hassan and the Soviet leader had talks over three days, discussing problems of mutual concern--including the situation in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.