Despite the difficulties and obstacles facing the government, Tunisian Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri said on Wednesday that state sector wages were “not under threat in the coming months.”
Observers considered her remarks reassuring for the working class in the country.
Concerns had been raised after payments were delayed in January, when teachers’ salaries arrived 10 days late.
The Finance Minister told Radio Shems FM that there are more than 650,000 employees waiting to receive their salaries, and the Ministry of Education accounts for more than 200,000 employees.
However, Boughdiri said that public sector salaries were not at risk.
Talks between the International Monetary Fund and Tunisia over a rescue package predicated on painful economic reforms were halted in July, when President Kais Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority. The discussions resumed after Saied laid out plans for a referendum and parliamentary elections this year.
The IMF has also urged Tunisia to reform its public sector wage system and loss-making state-owned companies.