Video: Algeria’s oil corruption scandal


Is it normal for one company to detain 98% of foreign currency receipts and produce 30% of GDP of the richest and second largest country in Africa? The following video discusses the repercussions of the recent corruption scandal involving the CEO of SONATRACH on the Algerian economy. Analysts are split as to the meaning of this scandal with regards to the political power balance within the Algerian regime: are the millitary sending a warning signal to president Bouteflika or is Bouteflika trying to prove that his government has a zero tolerance policy on corruption even when it involves the country’s economic artery? But if that is the case, where has Chakib Khelil (our energy Minister who is an American national and has an interesting CV) been all this time when the CEO of SONATRACH was mocking about? Who knows and just how many Algerians really do care?! Who should be the judge? The government (it wants to come clean perhaps?), the millitary (they have been caring for Algeria ever since 1962 after all and they are the ones who care most about the country maybe?) or our independent and efficacious judiciary system?

Bookmark and Share

6 thoughts on “Video: Algeria’s oil corruption scandal

  1. You ask if it is normal for one company to detain 98% of foreign currency receipts and produce 30% of GDP of Algeria, but the question should rather be: is it normal for Algeria to have 98% of its foreign currency receipts detained by only one company?

    The video is funny. Everytime the journalist asked Mr. Salhi or Mr. Belkaid about some rumour, they replied “yes, it could be this” because they simply don’t have a clue on what’s going on… At least the FLN guy had a clear message. The journalist could have invited anyone from any café in Hassi Bahbah and she would’ve got the same answers. And they dare call it “inside story”…

    I remember when Khelil almost sold Sonatrach and kept telling us about the benefits we would get, and then thanks to Hugo the Boss (Chavez), Bouteflika changed his mind, so this same minister said he won’t sell the company but that he believed it was a bad move; and finally he argued that it was a great decision to keep Sonatrach public! The same communication “khalota” happened around this scandal.

    I wonder if one day we’ll have ministers who would resign after they make some big mistakes or when they disapprove of the president’s decisions.

    • You ask if it is normal for one company to detain 98% of foreign currency receipts and produce 30% of GDP of Algeria, but the question should rather be: is it normal for Algeria to have 98% of its foreign currency receipts detained by only one company?

      Well yes that’s exactly what I meant.

      And me too I was annoyed by the Paris and Los Angeles guys answering: ‘Yes maybe’ to every single question!

      I wonder if one day we’ll have ministers who would resign after they make some big mistakes or when they disapprove of the president’s decisions.

      That would be the day when we’ll all know that Algeria is saved.

  2. And this is all supposed to be an inside story from the outside..!!
    The arguments supporting the whole essay if I might say, are just a collection of recycled old statements and assumptions.

    Resignation is not in my opinion a sign of fairness and openness.
    We’re all human and each one of us have responsibilities, we all do make mistakes form time to time, and the best attitude it to admit the mistake and work to correct it and ensure that the same think will not occur in the future.

    I you are familiar with English Politics, you will always hear: ” we hope that lessons have been learnt and such mistakes will not occur in the future..”

    Best regards

    • Welcome ForAlgerian on the blog and thanks for commenting.

      You are right, we all make mistakes, but we are not all ministers, and our mistakes usually don’t affect 36 million people’s lives. I obviously don’t call for a resignation everytime a mistake happens, but Sonatrach’s scandal should have led to Khelil’s contract termination.

      The other point I raised was the resignation of political responsibles when they disagree with the government’s important decisions. Most of our politicians are weathercocks who don’t seem to have any principle, not even on the most important topics. And since you talk of the English politics, do you not remember Robin Cook’s (and some other Blair’s ministers’) resignation over the war on Iraq?

      • Thanks for the welcome MnarviDZ,

        I don’t disagree with your points nor with the core idea.
        As you mentioned the case of the Iraq aggression, the resignation of Robin Cook and his mysterious death as well as the million of demonstrators, didn’t really change much the course of the prearranged decision.

        It’s true that Minister’ responsibilities are not the same as everybody else, and there should be a mechanism without being too bureaucratic to ensure that major mistakes are minimised or avoided at best.

        An important aspect that you’ve mentioned is the fact that there are some politicians who despite their clear opposition to the main political line of a specific party yet they continue to sign up to it.
        This only shows that they’re in for more than just serving the country, and we need to go back the the root of the problem, in our case if we speak about Algeria, there is a need to clarify certain basic things.

        let us not forget that ministers are Algerians and they are simply a result of this inherited collection of backward self contradictory values that we’ll find on any individual.

        Best regards

  3. Pingback: Book review: Memoirs of an #Algerian II (1/2) « Patriots on Fire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s