In Tunisia, thousands of people demonstrated against the socio-economic crisis affecting the country

Thousands of people demonstrated in Tunis on Saturday, March 3, in front of the headquarters of the head of government, to protest against the deterioration of the social and economic situation, at the call of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT)

In Tunisia, thousands of people demonstrated against the socio-economic crisis affecting the country

Thousands of people demonstrated in Tunis on Saturday, March 3, in front of the headquarters of the head of government, to protest against the deterioration of the social and economic situation, at the call of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT). “The economic and social situation continues to get worse,” said the general secretary of the main trade union center, Noureddine Taboubi, in a speech to the demonstrators, deploring “the failure [of the leaders] to formulate policies and national choices”.

He considered that “the social and economic dialogue was completely blocked today”, recalling that the capacity of the Tunisian State to repay its external debts in 2023 “was to the detriment of the people and the scarcity of agricultural products. base ". Mr. Taboubi also criticized the application of “the dictates of the International Monetary Fund [IMF],” at the expense of Tunisians.

The Tunisian economy is at a standstill with only 0.4% growth in 2023 and an unemployment rate reaching 16.4% at the end of the year, according to the National Institute of Statistics. The unemployment rate was 15.2% at the end of 2022. The country has also been shaken by political tensions since the coup of President Kaïs Saïed, who granted himself full powers in July 2021.

The State in debt to the tune of 80% of its GDP

Experiencing a serious financial crisis, Tunis concluded an agreement with the IMF in October 2022 for a loan of $2 billion, but negotiations bogged down when the president rejected the reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund.

The Tunisian state makes a point of repaying its debts (80% of GDP), but lacks liquidity to provide its population with enough basic products, which leads to recurring shortages of flour, sugar or rice. . The country experiences a high inflation rate (around 8% annually) fueled by rising grain and energy prices linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Economic and social rights are the foundation of true democracy” or “Defend social dialogue and purchasing power”, could we read on Saturday on the signs brandished by demonstrators in Tunis, according to a correspondent of the Agence France-Presse on site.