Morocco's deficit and budget numbers are up on the international economic crisis, but the government has ambitious short - and medium-term plans, Moroccan Finance Minister Nizar Baraka told the official Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) news agency in an interview on Tuesday.
''The Moroccan economy is in a delicate phase due to an increase in the budget deficit (6.1% in 2011),'' the minister said. ''We plan to reduce that deficit to 5% in 2012, to 4.8% in 2013, and to 3% by 2016. We plan to grow by 3-3.4% in 2012.'' The government's priorities are to reduce wasteful administrative expenses while reaching the neediest parts of the population, and to reform the social security system in terms of contributions, retirement age, and payouts.