The United States will impose sanctions on over 500 targets on Friday in action marking the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Tunisian President Kais Saied © Mena Today
Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed new ministers on Wednesday to fill vacant positions that had been unfilled for months, including the Minister of Economy, in the context of increased economic and financial difficulties in the country, which is also grappling with political tensions.
The new Minister of Economy and Planning, Feryel Ouerghi, holds a doctorate and has authored publications on financial crises and exchange rate policies.
She replaces Samir Saïed, who was dismissed in October 2023 without disclosed reasons.
Kais Saied also appointed Fatma Thabet as the head of the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mines, replacing Neila Gonji, who was dismissed in early May 2023.
Tunisia is engaged in a partnership with the European Union that includes a significant energy component.
The new Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Lotfi Dhieb, is a former Director-General within the ministry. He replaces Nasreddine Nsibi, who was removed from office in February 2023.
The president also designated three State Secretaries, responsible for areas such as Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Energy Transition.
The Tunisian economy has been stagnant, with only 1.3% growth last year and an unemployment rate of approximately 16%. The country has also been shaken by political tensions since President Saied's power grab in July 2021.
Facing a severe financial crisis, Tunisia reached an agreement with the IMF in October 2022 for a $2 billion loan, but negotiations stalled when the president rejected the reforms recommended by the International Monetary Fund.
The Tunisian government is committed to repaying its debts (80% of GDP) but lacks the liquidity to provide enough essential commodities to its population, leading to recurring shortages of flour, sugar, or rice.
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