Thousands of demonstrators in Tunis against President Saïed and the economic crisis

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Thousands of demonstrators in Tunis against President Saïed and the economic crisis

Demonstrations are increasing in Tunisia against the regime of President Kais Saïed.

Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated on Saturday in Tunis to denounce the policies of President Kaïs Saïed, whom they accuse of being responsible for the serious economic crisis in the country, marked by recurrent shortages of basic foodstuffs and by high inflation.

Led by the National Salvation Front, a coalition of opposition parties that includes the Islamist-inspired group Ennahdha, protesters marched through the main streets of the Tunisian capital calling for the president's departure.

Go away, go away, Revolt against Kaïs the dictator, The people want to dismiss the president, chanted the protesters.

This demonstration reflects the anger at the situation in Tunisia under Kaïs Saïed and calls for his departure, former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, vice-president of Ennahdha, told AFP.

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If the current political power persists, there is no future for Tunisia. Poverty, unemployment and despair are on the rise, he added.

At the same time, another demonstration against the deterioration of living conditions also took place on Saturday in Tunis, organized by the Free Destourian Party (PDL), an anti-Islamist opposition formation.

Participants in this protest waved empty baskets in allusion to the sharp drop in purchasing power. Souad, a retiree, accuses President Saïed of having done nothing. According to her, the situation has only gotten worse since she came to power in 2019.

About 1,500 people took part in the demonstration organized by the National Salvation Front while that led by the PDL brought together nearly 1,000 people, the Interior Ministry told AFP.

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Tunisia, strangled by a debt exceeding 100% of its GDP, has experienced recurrent shortages of basic products (flour, sugar, coffee, etc.) in recent months in a context of economic crisis. x27; galloping inflation.

Tunisia's difficulties, in economic decline for 10 years, have been amplified by the COVID-19 crisis and by the war in Ukraine, which increases the import price of cereals and hydrocarbons on which it is very dependent.< /p>

The country has also been mired in a serious political crisis since the coup by President Saïed, who seized full power in July 2021.

Saturday evening, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it had reached an agreement with the Tunisian government which will allow the release of a loan of 1.9 billion dollars.

< p class="e-p">This agreement, which has yet to be validated by the Fund's Board of Directors, could alleviate the crisis in the country. In exchange for this payment, the Tunisian government has committed to a program of reforms, according to an IMF press release.

It includes in particular the taxation of the economy informal, support measures for the most modest as well as increased transparency within the public sector.

The agreement covers a period of four years.

The funds released by the IMF should give oxygen to a heavily indebted country that can no longer borrow on international markets.

Tunisia's budget deficit could exceed 9% this year.

Inflation in the country reached 9.1% year on year in September, while food prices are soaring even more, up 13% compared to the same period last year.

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