European Union fears “collapse” of Tunisia: The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced Monday that the bloc was concerned about the deteriorating political and economic situation in Tunisia and feared its collapse.
European Union fears “collapse” of Tunisia
“The situation in Tunisia is very dangerous,” Borrell warned, after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
“If Tunisia collapses, it threatens an influx of migrants to the European Union and to cause instability in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said. We want to avoid this situation.
He explained that the foreign ministers had asked Belgium and Portugal to send representatives on a mission to Tunisia to make “an assessment of the situation to enable the European Union to direct its action.
But, he added, “the European Union can not help a country that is not able to sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
He stressed that “President Kais Saied must sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and implement it, otherwise the situation will be very dangerous for Tunisia.
President Saied has all the powers since July 25, 2021, and has suspended many political figures. The main opposition parties denounce an “authoritarian deviation” that undermines the young democracy that emerged from the 2011 revolution that toppled the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Waiting for the IMF loan
Tunisia, indebted to about 80% of its GDP, obtained an agreement in principle from the IMF in mid-October for a new loan of nearly $2 billion to help it overcome the serious financial crisis it is experiencing.
But talks have stalled due to the lack of a firm commitment from Tunisia to implement a reform program to restructure Tunisia’s more than 100 heavily indebted state-owned enterprises and to lift subsidies on certain commodities.
In December 1983, the Tunisian authorities decided to remove the subsidy on cereal products. As a result, the price of bread, semolina and pasta soared, prompting riots that reached their peak on January 3, 1984. A state of emergency was declared. The official death toll was several dozen, but according to NGOs it was higher.