The first Ikea furniture store, the world-renowned Swedish low-cost giant, will not open for the moment in Morocco. Authorities blocked the opening at the last moment after the government of Stockholm announced its imminent recognition of the Arab Saharawi Republic (RASD).
Moroccan authorities, however, deny that the decision is attributable to ‘diplomatic pressures’, explaining that the company structures in Zenata, between Muhammadiya and Casablanca, “are without certificates of conformity”.
According to Le320 newspaper, the decision is instead “an actual reprisal” aimed at dissuading the Swedish government. “Ikea does not do politics”, was the firm comment of the country managing director, without however specifying if a new date has been set for the opening.
The Western Sahara, the last African colony, was occupied militarily by Morocco in 1975. Its independence was declared by the Polisario Front, backed by Algeria. The RASD, which proclaimed itself independent in 1976, and the African Union, but is recognized by some states, but not the UN that included it in a list of non-autonomous territories.