Rabat: Anxious wait for cafés and restaurants

This meeting will determine the outcome of the conflict between them and the capital’s mayor, Asmaa Rhlalou. Tensions erupted following the mayor’s decision to increase collective fees for temporary use of the public domain. The decision has sparked concern and disagreement among owners of cafés and restaurants in Rabat, who consider that the measure could have a negative impact on their economic activities. 

Initially scheduled for the end of May, a general strike by Rabat’s café and restaurant owners was temporarily suspended following the intervention of the region’s Wilaya, with the aim of resolving the conflict between the parties. Despite this suspension, the possibility of a general strike remains if their demands are not met. 

The National Association of Café and Restaurant Owners of Morocco, under the supervision of the Wilaya’s Secretary General, held a series of meetings with the Rabat City Council. These meetings resulted in an agreement to form a joint committee to analyze the dispute, mainly linked to the fees for temporary occupation of the public domain. 

In a statement to Hespress, Noureddine El Harraq, President of the National Association of Café and Restaurant Owners in Morocco, expressed optimism that the Secretary General of the Wilaya of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra would find a solution. 

 “Unfortunately, a meeting scheduled for last week was cancelled due to a health problem,” he explains, but El Harraq remains confident about the prospects for resolution. Despite the absence of an official announcement to cancel the increase in collective fees for the exploitation of the public domain, he remains optimistic that “negotiations will quickly lead to a satisfactory agreement for café and restaurant owners, putting an end to the dispute”. 

 “Café and restaurant owners are still determined to have the true value of their sector recognized, and they are not ruling out the possibility of a general strike to make commune officials understand the importance of their demands,” El Harraq points out. Nevertheless, they hope that the Wilaya will continue to play a decisive role in resolving the conflict, to avoid any potential strike-related problems.

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