The resident of Tunisia's National Anti-Corruption Authority, Chawki Tabib, warned on Thursday of the collapse of the state because of rampant corruption, smuggling and a parallel economy. He made his comments during a press conference in the capital, Tunis.
The country loses four growth points per year, Tabib pointed out, as well as 800 million dinars ($347.9 million) as a result of the smuggling of subsidised food, leading to growing foreign debt. An annual loss of 2 billion dinars ($1.8 billion) is directly due to corruption and the lack of adequate governance mechanisms in public transactions. The authority reviewed 8,029 corruption files in 2016 and referred 152 of them to the judiciary.
The Tunisian parliament last week passed a 36-article law, which criminalises any retribution against whistle-blowers about such offences, including the taking of disciplinary measures against civil servants.
"The real gain is to uncover corruption lobbies who benefit from the former regime," the secretary of the Arab Anti-Corruption Organisation, Ayyad Lummi, told Anadolu.
Transparency International ranked Tunisia 75 globally on its corruption index for the year 2016, recording a slight improvement compared to 2015.