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General Labour Union holds Tunisian government responsible for the deteriorating economy

Tunisian riyal [PRORusty Clark/Flickr]

The Tunisian General Labour Union (the largest trade union organization in the country) has blamed the government for the deterioration of the Tunisian economy.

Samir Al-Shafi, Assistant Secretary-General of the Union, stated that the financial balances of social security funds have become shaky, which “indicates that the social situation is very difficult.”

On the sidelines of workers’ gatherings organized by the Union in the governorate of Sfax, he told Anadolu that the government will assume responsibility for the tension that will affect the social climate in case it carried on with its stubbornness.

Social services in Tunisia, which are intended to provide for pensioners, cover health insurance expenses etc. are facing a huge deficit.

Read: Tunisia’s Ennahda calls on all factions to commit to a stable government

“Social services need urgent solutions and the state is required to pay 100 million dinars ($ 41.3 million) every month to cover the deficit of the funds,” said Prime Minister Youssef Al-Chahed last week.

The union stated that it is organizing a series of workers’ gatherings that have been launched several days ago in several cities, denouncing the difficult economic and social situation in the country.

The prices of many essential goods in the country have increased since the beginning of this year, in implementation of a reform program between the government of Youssef Al-Chahed and the International Monetary Fund.

“We reject the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which would undermine the sovereignty of the national decision,” said the Labour Union official.

Last Friday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Tunisia to increase fuel prices in line with world oil prices to reduce its budget deficit, warning against any wage increases.

Annual inflation in Tunisia rose to 7.6 percent in March from 7.1 percent in February, according to statistics issued by the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics.

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