CLOSURE of Spanish enclave plunges Moroccan town into crisis and leaves some Moroccan locals contemplating suicide as their only way out.
Many Moroccans living in a town that borders the Spanish enclave of Ceuta are struggling to survive after both the Coronavirus and border crackdowns have hit them hard.
Many have seen their livelihoods wrecked in the town of Fnideq as they are no longer able to make trips to the Spanish territory of Ceuta. Badr is a street vendor from Fnideq who used to make a living by selling black-market clothes and other products that he had imported from Ceuta.
The 32-year-old explained how he does not expect a return to smuggling and said, “We’re not asking for a resumption of contraband, but for alternatives.” He explained how desperate the situation is and stated, “Sometimes I think about killing myself,”
“Only my wife and children keep me going.”
Moroccan authorities clamped down on illegal smuggling in October 2019. This had previously been tolerated for a long time and many traders crossed the border into the Spanish enclave every day to return with goods from Spain to sell. Hundreds have protested recently for the reopening of borders.
Devoid of Spanish contraband the town now is empty of tourists and customers, and the unemployment rate continues to grow.
Some hope remains for residents of Fnideq though as plans are in place for the area with an investment of $45 million. There are hopes too of 700 factory jobs soon be available for women.
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