maurblog.jpg  A schoolroom in Mauritania Teachers in the west African state of Mauritania held a three day strike last week. The teachers - members of of the Trade Union of Secondary Education Teachers were on strike for an increase in their meagre salaries which at present stand at $260 per year. The union said that these salaries only meet 30% of their basic needs. Mauritania is one of the World Bank's so called 'highly impoverished countries'. Although Mauritania has considerable natural resources and is an oil producing country average life expectancy is only 53 and the majority of people live in extreme poverty. As usual the World Bank prescription is to unleash the market economy on the country. It states on its website:

‘The private sector should expand and strengthen its role as a driving force in the economy, developing a partnership with international businesses, fully engaging in competition’

The teachers point out that their demands would cost little more than $4 million.