Francis Ghilès is senior research fellow at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (Cidob). He
was the Financial Times's north Africa correspondent from 1981-95, and
now contributes to newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street
Journal, Le Monde, El Pais and La Vanguardia. He is a specialist in emerging
energy markets and their relationship to political trends, and has advised western
governments and corporations
working in north Africa
It requires great political skills to navigate the treacherous waters of transition towards democracy in a country beset by political infighting, rising inflation and indebtedness in a troubled region.