Chahed courts the IMF, Tunisian General Labor Union defiant

On February 25, Youssef Chahed announced the appointment of new heads to several ministries. The UGTT lost not a minute in denouncing what it called a politically-driven and unilateral decision to replace Abid Briki, former UGTT Under Secretary General, with Khalil Ghariani, head of social affairs for the UTICA, as Minister of Public Service. In a statement published on February 26, the UGTT deemed the move a deliberate provocation, and made in the interest of unblocking the second installment of a $2.9 billion loan from the IMF. The conflict, which culminated in Ghariani’s refusal to accept the nomination and the subsequent suspension of the Ministry of Public Service on March 2, is the most recent flare-up in the tenuous relationship between the current government and country’s largest workers union.

CREATISTES: the art of selling handmade

Launched on March 19, 2016, CREATISTES is a new online marketplace for all things handmade. Although it is not the country’s first virtual outlet for Tunisian arts and craft products, it is perhaps the first Tunisian version of the widely-popular Etsy (started in Brooklyn in 2005), Dawanda (Berlin, 2006), and Little Majlis (Dubai, 2012).

الحقائب الاقتصادية: وزراء على مقاس هيئات النقد الدولية

يستعرض هذا المقال قراءة أخرى لحكومة يوسف الشاهد من خلال الكشف عن توجهات المكلفين الجدد بالحقائب الاقتصادية: الطاقة والمناجم، المالية، الاستثمار والتنمية والتعاون الدولي، الصناعة والتجارة، ووزارة الفلاحة.

Bread: cereal production and food security

Earlier this year, the Food and Agriculture Administration (FAO) of the United Nations reported that wheat constitutes 96% of cereals consumed and over half of the daily caloric intake per person in Tunisia. What’s more, the high demand for cereals, and by extension cereal imports, are projected to rise in the years to come. In measure with these findings, statistics recently published by the Ministry of Agriculture for the 2014-2015 seasons report above-average imports; meanwhile, market speculations for 2016 anticipate that cereal imports to Tunisia will be up 15% from the previous five-year average.

EU “support” for Tunisia: loans and free trade to remedy terrorism

With each measure of “support” the EU has offered Tunisia—whether in the form of a sizable loan for security reforms, or a free trade agreement for economic growth—particular emphasis has been placed on the recent successes and imperative role of civil society in the country’s path to democracy. But if what Tunisian civil society demands is a shifting of the scales and relations based on reciprocity, is Europe really prepared to listen?

Still far from policy reform and self-sufficiency in Tunisia’s agrifood sector

Representatives of Tunisian farmers’ unions have insisted on agriculture’s currently vital and potentially stabilizing role for the economy. Filled with data and trend analyses, a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations contradicts this observation, identifying the “relatively low” and even “falling” importance of agriculture in the national economy while pointing out that it has nonetheless buffered the blow of economic crisis and may represent a “missing link” in fighting high youth unemployment.