Latest Algerian customs and oil data starkly illustrate the extent of the country’s economic meltdown and the challenge facing the country’s officials.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika – who hasn’t been seen in public in four years, fueling rumors that he may no longer be running the show – has replaced a string of senior officials in recent weeks. Last week’s appointment of Noureddine Bouterfa as energy minister came just a year after his predecassor’s appointment (MEES 17 June). The two most senior economic officials – the finance minister and central bank chief – have also been replaced. (CONTINUED - 551 WORDS)