Changing government will undermine economy, says Tunisian PM

25 Jul 18

Tunisia’s prime minister Youssef Chahed said yesterday that changing the government would hurt the country’s economy and risk damaging the confidence of international lenders.

Tunisia’s president Beji Caid Essebsi called for Chahed to stand down earlier this month amid political and economic turmoil, it has been reported.

Since 2011, when former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted, nine cabinets have failed to address high inflation and unemployment in Tunisia.

International lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund, have repeatedly highlighted the North African country’s economic problems.

But Chahed said the Tunisian economy would soon make progress.

He told state news agency TAP: “A change of government will shake the confidence of Tunisia’s international partners… as economic data will begin to improve by the end of this year.”

The prime minister added that the government would reduce its budget deficit next year to 3.9%, down from the current 4.9%, with expectations that public finances would get a boost by tourism revenues.

In May, the IMF said the Tunisian economy showed signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2018 but there are still risks to macroeconomic stability, especially inflation.

The Washington-based lender said that the government had made “significant progress” towards policy goals that need to be met to secure the next tranche of funding.

 

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