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Tunisia’s Unemployed Threaten Escalation after Failure of Talks with Government

Tunisia’s Unemployed Threaten Escalation after Failure of Talks with Government

Friday, 3 July, 2020 - 11:30
People attend a protest against the government's refusal to raise wages in Tunis, Tunisia November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Protesters in the Tunisian governorate of Tataouine announced their rejection of the outcome of the cabinet meeting that sought to find solutions to the country’s high unemployment rate.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh, was held in the wake of massive demonstrations that involved confrontations with the security forces.

The Tunisian authorities fear that the protests will worsen in other regions.

The Regional Labor Union rejected the solutions proposed by the government, and called for a general strike for three days in the oil companies operating in the region.

Bashir Al-Saidi, head of the Regional Labor Union, blamed the government for the negative repercussions of its decisions, including the escalation of protests, warning against the intimidation of peaceful protesters.

“The government’s proposal does not meet the demands of the region, and ignores the terms of the agreement signed since 2017 for the benefit of the protesters,” Daou El-Ghoul, general coordinator of a sit-in in the governorate of Tataouine, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He emphasized the protesters’ insistence on the government to create about a thousand jobs in the petroleum companies, allocate 80 million Tunisian dinars for development, and employ 3,000 young people in horticulture and planting companies.

The government has offered to the unemployed in the region a new package of solutions, including to employ 500 young people by the end of the year, to lift obstacles to the government development fund, and to immediately start implementing about 60 projects, in addition to providing additional financial credits of about 1.2 million Tunisian dinars for small loan companies in the region.

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