More than $2 billion has been lost from Tunisian coffers since former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in 2011.
A report by the Global Financial Integrity organisation (GFI) highlighted the severity of the loss as $181 per capita and said corruption was the main cause of Tunisia’s tepid economy.
Public expectations of economic reforms and solutions to social grievances since Ben Ali’s ousting have been met with futile efforts that have instead worsened the economy’s standing and created an opening for corruption to thrive. The government’s struggle to revive the economy and raise the necessary funds for investments is often curtailed by deep rooted of corruption.
According to the GFI report, the newly formed government must give “urgent attention to illicit financial flows if they are to achieve a model of sustainable economic growth”.
In his first public address, recently appointed Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said the fight against corruption would be one of the government’s first priorities stating the success of the newly formed government will largely depend on its efforts against nepotism and corruption. He called on the public to “denounce and resist” corruption by calling out those implicit in it.