Moroccan youth protest unemployment

Protesters, most of whom were graduates, rallied on the streets of the Moroccan capital of Rabat on Thursday carrying banners to express their frustration with unemployment and request the government to address the job deficit. "There is no desire or will to change the situation. If there was a will, we would not be here. Why should we be blamed because we managed to study and have high diplomas? Why should our faith be thrown in the streets?" argued an unemployed graduate, Idriss el Ouali Alami. On Wednesday, five young unemployed men set themselves on fire, indicating the growing trend in self-immolation in the Middle East as a way of protesting, most notably initiated by the Tunisian fruitseller who set himself on fire after being humiliated by the police which ultimately triggered the Arab Spring. Unemployment in Morocco currently stands at around 31 percent. In related news, Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane gave an outline of his government's plans to target national economic growth which in turn would boost the employment sector. Government spokesman and information minister Mostapha Khalfi said the new program aims to meet the people's expectations and deal with various social issues by introducing relevant policies in aspects such as housing and education. King Mohammed hopes the new members in government will fulfill national reforms. The country's moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) won the majority of seats in the election late November, and has promised to increase democracy while curbing corruption and tackle inequality issues. Speaker: Idriss el Ouali Alami - unemployed graduate By Noora Faraj Al Arabiya with Agencies