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Teachers, health workers and civil servants join a three-day strike over plans to tighten spending and increase the retirement age, Algiers, Nov. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).

Why Austerity in Algeria Steers Clear of Cuts to Public Sector Compensation

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in an ongoing WPR series on social welfare policies in various countries around the world.

On June 1, state media in Algeria reported that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had ordered a 2.5 percent increase in pensions for retirees, on top of an equivalent increase awarded in 2016. According to Reuters, there are 2.8 million retirees receiving pensions in Algeria, and the decision to increase their income comes as the oil-producing country struggles to adapt to reduced oil prices and considers reforms to its broader social welfare system. In an email interview, Azzedine Layachi, a professor of government and politics at St. John’s University, explains the origins of Algeria’s social welfare programs and describes how the country is reacting to current stresses. ...

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