| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Tunisia’s president warns IMF: Financial support conditions risk civil unrest

The Tunisian presidency announced on Friday that President Kais Saied expressed to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerns regarding the conditions set by the fund for providing financial assistance to Tunisia. President Saied warned that these conditions could potentially ignite civil unrest in the North African country.
“The President of the Republic made it clear that the International Monetary Fund’s conditions for providing financial support to Tunisia are unacceptable because it would affect civil peace,” the statement read.
Saied’s remarks came during a meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris on the sidelines of a finance summit on Thursday night, the Tunisian presidency said.

Tunisia’s bailout talks with the IMF have looked stalled for months, and there is little sign Saied is willing to agree to the steps needed to reach a deal and help the country avoid a financial crisis.

Without a loan, Tunisia faces a full-blown balance of payments crisis. Most debt is internal but there are foreign loan repayments due later this year, and credit ratings agencies have said Tunisia may default.

Saied reiterated that any required cuts to subsidies, mostly on energy and food, could have detrimental effects on the country, recalling deadly riots that hit Tunisia in 1983 after the government raised the price of bread.

“The President of the Republic stressed that he would not accept a single drop of blood being shed,” the presidency statement said, adding that Georgieva had welcomed an invitation from Saied to visit Tunisia at a yet-to-be-determined date.

  • alarabiya