Debt 12

IMF-Tunisia agreement: a social time-bomb

Tunisia’s new agreement with the IMF is just two months away from becoming operational. The government, however, is far from being prepared to navigate what follows once it begins the precarious task of dismantling the subsidies system which covers basic goods and hydrocarbons. Rather than alleviating pressure on the country’s most vulnerable groups, it is likely to incite anger and indeed set off the social time bomb that it had hoped to disarm.

External debt: Tunisia falls back on « facility »

« Dire » is the word that IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice used to describe Tunisia’s economic and financial situation. During an online press conference on May 19, Rice urged the Tunisian government to pursue a reform program as a way out of its current impasse. But is a debt-fuelled solution the only way out? Several NGOs do not believe so, and propose alternative solutions to pull the country out of the crisis.

Endettement : Al Bawsala et le FTDES pour une sortie de l’impasse

«Le moment est venu de construire une vision stratégique globale et complémentaire pour rompre avec le modèle de développement actuel basé sur l’égoïsme sociétal», clament le FTDES et Al Bawsala. Or «l’endettement extérieur conditionné (…) entrave l’adoption d’un véritable programme de réformes consacrant la justice sociale entre les régions et les citoyens», déplorent-ils.

التركينة #6 : المديونية

بعد الثورة، الحكومات الي جات لقات رواحها قدام ناس تحب حقها في التشغيل وجهات تطالب في حقها في التنمية والي يخدمو يحبو عالزيادات. الحل الاسهل كان المديونية وبدات الدولة تاخو في القروضات عام بعد عام والاقتصاد ماهوش قاعد يتحسن. في التركينة، باش نحكيولكم عالمديونية ومنين الدولة تتسلف في الفلوس وشنيا صار في دول مشات في نفس الثنية. باش نحكيو زادا على الديون الكريهة الي خذاتها الدولة وما عملت بيها شي.

Finance law 2019: exacerbating debt, perpetuating fiscal injustice

Another hot summer in Tunisia gave way to teachers’ strikes in the fall, while winter follows suit with plans for a general strike on January 17. In this context, on December 10 the government adopted the Finance Law of 2019, a package of measures that perpetuate fiscal injustice, aiming to handle the country’s growing deficit by reaching into the pockets of those most impacted by economic crisis. Ahead of the 2019 elections, the new public budget was passed amidst a rejection rate of 30% in parliament, suscitating a new wave of popular and political rejection in the most recent test put to the government of prime minister Youssef Chahed.

The impossible reform of the Lebanese financial system

In recent months, Lebanon has been alive with rumours about a forthcoming devaluation. In mid-September, the governor of the Central Bank, Riadh Salameh was obliged to officially deny that he was ill and had to resign and Michel Aoun, the President of the Republic, also had to declare that the Lebanese pound was in good health and that the country was not on the road to bankruptcy. For every Lebanese these factors are indeed closely related since all know that the country is deep in debt.

Jordan, its Debt and the Mirages of the IMF

The demonstrations in the summer of 2018 put the economic policies pursued since the late 1980s back at the heart of public debate in Jordan. The dispute has opened up a political space that had disappeared since the failure of the “November” 2012 conflagration, and brought the issue of taxation back to the forefront of the discussions. Extending the debate to the global economic approach has at least made it possible to question several central points of the official discourse, in particular the recurring subject of debt reduction.

Chahed and the IMF: how close is too close?

After a four month delay which prompted observers to convey their concerns and suspicions about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) « lending freeze, » Tunisia is set to receive the second installment of its four-year $2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan. The Tunisian government has agreed to set to work immediately with « delayed structural reforms, » including reducing spending on wages in the public sector and devaluing the national currency.

Can hotels and banks save tourism in Tunisia?

Tunisia placed 87 out of 136 countries ranked in the 2017 Tourism Competitiveness Index, an assessment prepared by the World Economic Forum. According to the Index report released on April 5, Tunisia dropped down 8 points from its position in the previous year, owing to « low safety and security…with terrorism emerging as a destabilizing force…which in turn has led to high costs on business…and an extremely rigid and uncompetitive labour market. » The same week, the Tunisian Federation of Hotels proposed a debt restructuration plan as a life line for the country’s tourism industry. The sector is weighed down by a staggering 4 billion dinars in debt according to the Federation, and the Central Bank of Tunisia reports that some 120 out of 800 hotels nationwide are unable to settle their debts.

Debt, Farmers, and Farming Companies in Tunisia: laying ground for security and stability through agricultural reform

If important steps have been taken to improve management and optimize exploitation of State-owned agricultural lands and alleviate the debts of tenants who lease these properties, adopted measures are yet limited and incomplete … Working at the very heart of a sector upon which depends the country’s food security and, to a certain extent, the economy, Tunisian farmers have yet to gain substantial financial backing, adequate legal support, and due political recognition. Moving onward from a year of climatic fluctuations and political violence which have had devastating effects upon the sector, government officials and decision-makers will do well to recognize and invest in agriculture as the base from which sovereignty, security, and stability can grow.