Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia Marks Seventh Anniversary of Revolution Amid Social Unrest

Tunisia Marks Seventh Anniversary of Revolution Amid Social Unrest

Monday, 15 January, 2018 - 09:00
People shout slogans during demonstrations on the seventh anniversary of the toppling of president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, in Tunis, Tunisia January 14, 2018. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Tunisia marked on Sunday the seventh anniversary of the 2011 revolt, amid social unrest and calls on the government to cancel the 2018 Finance Law and retract increase of prices.


The Tunisian president broke the tradition of celebrating the Revolution Day in the palace of Carthage in the presence of a number of political figures and the families of the victims, and chose to go to the popular Tadamoun neighborhood, west of the Tunisian capital, to give a speech under tight security measures.


President Beji Caid Essebsi announced on the occasion the launching of Al-Karama Fund, to help families in need, adding that Prime Minister Youssef al-Shahid would sign the decision to start working with this new government measure.


He noted that Tunisia did not have great capabilities but has a “living people.”


“We must know how to invest these modest capabilities and distribute them fairly”, he said, stressing that the recent actions announced by the government were “better than nothing.”


Some families were not pleased with Essebsi’s visit because they were unable to report to him their problems. The president, at the same time, oversaw the provision of loans to low-income families in order to finance micro-economic projects.


Minister of Social Affairs Mohamed Trabelsi had announced the “social safety” system, which falls within the national strategy for social inclusion and fighting poverty by 2020. He said that the system was based on ensuring health coverage for all Tunisians and decent housing for poor families.


It is expected that 100 million Tunisian dinars (about $40 million) will be allocated to the budget of needy families, which means an increase of 20 percent for every family.


In a speech marking the anniversary of the revolution, Noureddine Tabboubi, Secretary-General of the General Union of Tunisian Workers, said: “The country is witnessing a surge of social protests that are raging day by day, an indication that most citizens no longer trust the authority and its promises.”


Meanwhile, ten opposition political parties, led by the Popular Front, held protests in the center of the capital, shouting slogans and “condemning the rise in the prices of basic products.”

Editor Picks