Rampant over-invoicing of goods and services sold to European buyers could be a substantial motivator for Algeria to become the first state in the southern Mediterranean shore to shun a free trade zone deal with the European Union (EU).
Led by the North African country’s new president, Algeria is weighing its losses from a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) while the government considers loosening ties with Europe and strengthening ties with Africa.
“Our ills stem from unbridled imports, including over-invoicing, which is one of the sources of corruption promoted and favoured by many European countries,” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said.
“Ill-gotten money” is funnelled into EU member states “after it has been allowed to flow through the banking system.
The EU is Algeria’s largest trading partner and a very substantial consumer of the North African country’s natural gas that is piped under the Mediterranean sea to Europe.
Algeria is in the midst of radical political change after the ending of the 20-year rule of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, seen by many Algerians as a mouthpiece for an authoritarian, military-dominated regime that had ruled the country since independence in 1962.
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