Algeria

The Algerian government has been implementing an array of pro-reading measures. In 2008, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia issued a decree covering the import and sale of books through festivals, fairs and trade shows. Last August, the Council of Ministers decided to introduce a VAT exemption on paper for book printing.

Five people were killed on Tuesday in Algeria when a remote control bomb exploded on a construction site in the town of Tlidjen near the Algeria-Tunisia border. Security officials said the bomb had targeted public works officials who were inspecting the construction site of new homes. Those killed were three local public works officials and two entrepreneurs, AFP said.

Algeria has adopted a law which will allow private firms for the first time to lease state-owned farmland but it also imposed restrictions on foreign investment. Gulf investors have shown an interest in Algerian farmland, part of a global trend for countries with large cash reserves to try to secure food supplies by targeting farmland abroad.

On 12 May 2010, Algerian authorities effectively shut down La Maison des Syndicats (2 Rue El Oued, Bach Djarrah, Algiers), the headquarters of an important coalition of independent labor unions fighting for workers rights, including the Syndicat National Autonome des Personnels de l'Administration Publique (SNAPAP). Their website has also been shut down.

Unions representing Algeria's teachers on Sunday (February 21st) rejected a proposed pay increase and called for a general strike, prompting student and parent fears that the school year will be lost entirely. CNAPEST and UNPEF will begin a prolonged strike on February 24th to protest what they are calling an unsatisfactory offer.

Pages