Tunisia’s Government Strikes Deal with UGTT to Lift Retirement Age

Tourists in a market in Tunis. (AP photo: Hassene Dridi)
Tourists in a market in Tunis. (AP photo: Hassene Dridi)
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Tunisia’s Government Strikes Deal with UGTT to Lift Retirement Age

Tourists in a market in Tunis. (AP photo: Hassene Dridi)
Tourists in a market in Tunis. (AP photo: Hassene Dridi)

The Tunisian government has reached a deal with the UGTT (labor union) to lift the retirement age for public servants by two years as part of efforts to limit new appointments, a government official said Friday.

"The government has agreed with the UGTT to lift the retirement age in the public sector by two years to 62 years and optionally for who those want it to 65 years starting from 2020," Kamal Madouri, an official in the Ministry of Social Affairs, said.

"There is an agreement in principle to raise the retirement age, but it was within a package of other measures about social security funds reforms which must be all implemented," Abd Karim Jrad, deputy secretary general of UGTT, told Reuters.

The government has proposed in the 2018 budget to impose a 1 percent social security tax on employees and companies to cut the deficit, but parliament has yet to approve the bill.

Under the 2018 budget, the deficit will fall to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, from about 6 percent expected in 2017.

Tunisia also seeks to raise GDP growth to about 3 percent next year against 2.3 percent this year. It seeks to lay off about 16,500 public sector workers in 2017 and 2018, a senior government official told Reuters last month.



Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
TT

Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday, as investors digested that the US Federal Reserve had likely pushed back a possible interest rate cut to December, while ample US crude and fuel stocks also weighed on the market.
Brent crude futures lost 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.37 a barrel, as of 0415 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.30, Reuters reported.
Both benchmarks had gained about 0.8% in the previous session.
The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday and pushed out the start of policy easing to perhaps as late as December.
Higher borrowing costs tend to dampen economic growth, and can by extension, limit oil demand.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the US central bank's two-day policy meeting ended that inflation had fallen without a major blow to the economy, adding that there was no reason to think that can't go on.
On the supply side, US crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, driven largely by a jump in imports, while fuel inventories also increased more than anticipated, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Also weighing on prices was a bearish report by the International Energy Agency, which warned of excess supply in the near future.
"This is in stark contrast to the bullish report from OPEC+ earlier this week. The oil group maintained its forecasts for strengthening demand," analysts at ANZ Research said.
Traders are also watching ongoing talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, which, if resolved, would reduce fears of potential supply disruptions from the oil producing region.