Economic crisis in Tunisia: Hadja Lahbib will assess the situation in the country at the request of the European Union

The rest were mired in poverty

Due to inflation, the middle class has also lost considerable purchasing power. According to economist Ezzedine Saidane, “It was 60% of the population in 2010. Today it is down to 25%. The rest were mired in poverty“.

Last year, the government reduced subsidy on hydrocarbon five times. 20% cumulative increase. Taxi drivers are the first to worry. Ahmed Mzougui was forced to send this raise to the counters. With his culture taxi, he tries to retain his customers. Despite this, he admits that he has lost his quality of life. “I stopped going out to restaurants every week and now we go out once a month. Instead of buying 2 kg, we buy 1 kg, instead of buying 2 packs, we buy just one… It’s not like before!”.

In its 2023 fiscal law, the government plans to gradually increase subsidies for hydrocarbons and basic commodities.Price realization should be achieved within 4 years“. For these grants theEDerived from the compensation fund, the public finances have a heavy weight: more than 3.3% of the GDP.

Economic indicators in red

“Tunisia is not on the brink of collapse”. Analysis Ezzedine Saidane, “But it has to be acknowledgedThere is an administrative problem : Government spends a lot without economic efficiency. We see it in sectors like health, education, justice, security, our public institutions: despite spending, quality is deteriorating..

Dll Tunisia’s economic indicators are red: double-digit inflation, debt exceeding 100% of GDP, very weak growth expected this year, 42% of young people unemployed. But above all, the coffers are empty. Post-Covid, exports plummeted, while tourism has not regained its level before the attacks on the Bardo museum and Sousse in 2015, which killed 24 and 39 people respectively.

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The Tunisian government negotiated an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In exchange for $1.9 billion, he promises to implement more modestly targeted reforms, including improving taxation of the informal economy, reducing the large public sector wage bill, phasing out subsidies, and targeting countervailing measures.

The wage bill in Tunisia is considered one of the highest in the Arab world. By 2022, it had a monopoly over half of the state’s resources (56%). “The government employs a lot in public institutions, but the beneficiaries have nothing there, no work to do, no office. Especially in the phosphate industry“, admits an anonymous person to a good source.

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