Tunisia. Government Raises Consumer Prices to “Appease” IMF, Some Claim

In early May, an official delegation to Washington D.C. met with International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials for discussions on a new loan program for Tunisia. According to a leaked, confidential document allegedly produced by the Tunisian government which Bloomberg reported on (but did not publish), the government proposed removing food and energy subsidies as part of these discussions. In May and June, the prices of several consumer goods, including subsidized sugar, were raised or increased. Some have claimed these price increases were meant to “appease” the IMF as part of the ongoing loan discussions.

المديونية: فروض الطاعة لصندوق النقد الدولي، المزيد من التقشف للشعب التونسي

مثقلة بديون خارجية حُدّدت قيمتها بــ80.9 مليار دينار مع نهاية سنة 2020 حسب تقديرات مروان العباسي محافظ البنك المركزي، تسعى الحكومة التونسية برئاسة هشام المشيشي لتوفير برنامج تمويلي لإنعاش الاقتصاد التونسي الذي تعترضه صعوبات من الحجم الثقيل.

Egypt : The Losers of Liberalisation

In recent years, Egyptians have experienced a noticeable decline in their standard of living with the devaluation of the national currency and at the same time a substantial rise in the cost of goods and services. Something quite unusual in a country where over the past few decades changes have always been gradual. Egyptians interpret their difficulties as a consequence of the implementation of the “Economic reform” aimed at bringing the country out of the current crisis with a series of austerity measures decided by the IMF.

Jordan, its Debt and the Mirages of the IMF

The demonstrations in the summer of 2018 put the economic policies pursued since the late 1980s back at the heart of public debate in Jordan. The dispute has opened up a political space that had disappeared since the failure of the “November” 2012 conflagration, and brought the issue of taxation back to the forefront of the discussions. Extending the debate to the global economic approach has at least made it possible to question several central points of the official discourse, in particular the recurring subject of debt reduction.

Tunisia is possibly facing a dire liquidity crisis in 2018-2019

According to official figures, 11 billion dinars are currently circulating outside the Tunisian banking system. This calls for a constant refinancing of banks by the Tunisian Central Bank, due to the resulting lack of liquidity. Many factors may account for this situation, namely the size of the informal sector and the low rate of bancarization standing at 47% of the population. While this has been the case for many years, the situation could deteriorate in 2018 and 2019.

An outsider’s look at the January 2018 protests in Tunisia

Nawaat addressed two questions to five foreign researchers who have written extensively about Tunisia’s politics and are familiar with the country’s particularities and complexities. It is a humble attempt by Nawaat to provide our readers with an outsider look that goes beyond Tunisia’s mainstream narrative, the polarized discourse and recurrent repression that accompanies every social movement.

Chahed and the IMF: how close is too close?

After a four month delay which prompted observers to convey their concerns and suspicions about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) « lending freeze, » Tunisia is set to receive the second installment of its four-year $2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan. The Tunisian government has agreed to set to work immediately with « delayed structural reforms, » including reducing spending on wages in the public sector and devaluing the national currency.

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.