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Tunisians protest economic deterioration

1 min

Thousands of people rallied in Tunis on Saturday in response to a call from the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to protest against the worsening social and economic situation.

The country experiences high inflation (around 8% annually) © Mena Today 

Thousands of people rallied in Tunis on Saturday in response to a call from the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to protest against the worsening social and economic situation.

The Tunisian economy has been stagnant, with only 0.4% growth in 2023 and an unemployment rate reaching 16.4% at the end of last year, according to the National Institute of Statistics. Unemployment was at 15.2% at the end of 2022.

The country has also been shaken by political tensions since President Kais Saied seized full powers in July 2021.

Facing a severe financial crisis, Tunisia reached an agreement with the IMF for a $2 billion loan in October 2022. However, negotiations stalled when the president rejected the IMF's recommended reforms.

While the Tunisian government prioritizes debt repayment (amounting to 80% of GDP), it lacks liquidity to provide its population with sufficient basic goods, leading to recurrent shortages of flour, sugar, or rice.

The country experiences high inflation (around 8% annually) fueled by rising cereal and energy prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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