The war between Russia and Ukraine threatens to weigh heavily on Tunisia’s fragile economic balance. Soaring oil prices will aggravate the burden, with the barrel price having far surpassed the 100 USD mark, not to mention the estimated 75 USD on which the country’s budget was based. Meanwhile, the tourism sector is likely to suffer for want of Russian visitors who once filled Tunisian beaches and hotels.
Revelations made in early February by the Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi Defense Committee were nothing short of explosive. Certain magistrates, including the president of the High Judicial Council, have been accused of covering up the truth and collusion with Ennahdha.
You take a walk by the seaside, thirsty for the Tunisian scenery and the beauty of the azure waves brushing the strands of beach sand. Instead, the first things your eyes catch are stray plastic cups, bags, straws, and the list goes on. Marine pollution in Tunisia has always been, but only became a red flag in the past few years when international NGOs started to loudly voice their concerns about the disastrous levels reached in the Mediterranean Sea.
It was with sealed lips that the Bouden government elaborated a draft law concerning the organization of associations. Recently leaked to several NGOs, the proposed legislation contains provisions which hint at why authorities might prefer to remain tight-lipped about the measure in question.
Launched on January 15, President Kais Saied’s national consultation has been presented as a democratic means to sound out the Tunisian people. That this mechanism remains unevenly accessible to citizens appears not to have shaken the president’s will to see his project through to the end.
“Halal meat will be banned starting from July 2021!!!” This message was issued by the Great Mosques of Paris, Lyon and Evry, which criticized the French government for banning the halal method of animal slaughter. The Islamic slaughter rite – like the Kosher one – prohibits stunning before death and requires the butcher to kill the animal by swiftly slitting its throat with a single slash to the neck. The announcement received massive media coverage and had a strong impact on the French Muslim minority.
January 14, 2022, marked the eleventh year Tunisia has initiated what can be referred to as a ‘democratic process’. The state of play is now drastically different compared to a decade ago, to the extent an observer should ask: what does January 14 represent for Tunisians in 2022, if anything at all?
A varied fare was on the menu for the first edition of Nawaat Festival, held on December 10-12 at our office in Tunis. Featuring the photo exhibition « Black Label » by Malek Khemiri, film screenings («The Oasis», «Kerkennapolis» and «Plasticratie»), a debate on « The 25 July Regime: Rupture or Continuity? » plus a concert by Vipa and VR Corner, the first edition of Nawaat festival kicked off what promises to be a landmark event on Tunisia’s cultural scene.
There will be no fiscal revolution for Tunisia in 2022 as many might have once hoped. The country’s new finance law remains loyal to the same business model under which physical persons, including the most disenfranchised segments of the population, contribute a significantly larger portion to tax revenues than do businesses.