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    UN Denounces ‘Grotesque Greed’ of Firms Profiting From Energy Crisis

    Like millions of people across the world, Moroccans have frequently condemned the continued increases in energy prices.

    05 Aug 2022

    Rabat - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concerns about companies profiting from the Ukraine-Russia conflict and its effect on global energy prices.

    The UN chief warned that the combined profits of the largest energy companies are close to $100 billion in the first quarter of this year, describing the situation as “immoral.”

    “This grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people while destroying our only home,” Guterres warned.

    In response, Guterres called on governments to “tax these excessive profits” and to use funds raised to support people impacted by the crisis.

    Oil prices were reportedly steady on Thursday, with the price of Brent crude futures estimated at $97.14 a barrel, Reuters reported.

    The steady number came after six months of skyrocketing prices, with prices of fuel peaking in June. Prices have since fallen, mainly driven by fears of a growing global recession that could diminish demand for oil in the near future.

    Like many countries across the world, Morocco has been feeling the impact of fuel prices for months -- particularly following the return to fighting in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

    Diesel prices rose to MAD 17 while gasoline reached MAD 16 per liter before they went down to MAD 15 and MAD 14, respectively in the past few days.

    The drop in the prices coincided with a royal speech, in which King Mohammed VI acknowledged that there is a global crisis but also warned against obstacles that are “intentionally created by those who seek personal gain.”

    “Indeed, the greatest peril for the country’s development and the promotion of investment are the obstacles intentionally created by those who seek personal gain. These practices must be combated,” the King said in July 30’s Throne Day speech.

    Moroccan internet users have been expressing their frustration regarding skyrocketing prices of commodities as well as fuel in several social campaigns.

    As part of the ongoing campaigns, Moroccans are using hashtags such as #Essence_8dh and #Gasoil_7dh to call for decreased prices in diesel and gasoline prices.

    Several hashtags are also demanding the resignation of the Head of Government Aziz Akhannouch, who is a billionaire and head of one of Morocco’s largest energy companies.

    Many internet users are using the hashtag #DegageAkhannouch, among others, to denounce the continued increases in fuel and goods prices.

    Opposition parties such as the Popular Movement (MP) and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) have joined the online campaign, calling for the government to provide clarification on the continued increase in energy products.

    President of the MP’s parliamentary group, Driss Sentissi, has recently criticized Akhannouch’s government, describing it as “weak” for failing to meet citizens’ demands.


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