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EU losing democracy in Tunisia in favour of autocracy of Saudi, Egypt

August 4, 2021 at 10:06 am

Former Italian politician and professor Romano Prodi on December 6, 2019 in Rome, Italy. [Antonio Masiello/Getty Images]

The West’s silence regarding the situation in Tunisia shows their support for autocratic regimes including those in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who stand behind the coup, former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said in an article in El Mensajero.

The former president of the European Commission added: “All of this has new question marks about the potential direct consequences on neighbouring Italy due to the increasing danger of COVID-19 and the expected immigration waves.”

Prodi said that the external impact on the Tunisian arena is divided between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, who support the autocratic measures taken by Tunisian Preisdent Kais Saied, against Qatar and Turkey, who support the political track of the Muslim Brotherhood, which makes up part of Tunis’ democratic path.

Like the French position, the former official stressed, the Italian view of the situation is not connected to events on the ground. While EU member states have yet to reach a “precise” position regarding the situation in Tunisia, and they have not yet taken any practical step towards stabilising the African country.

“I think that what is happening in Tunisia is not an internal issue,” he said, stressing that “the consequences of turning towards autocracy will exceed Tunisia’s borders. We, the Europeans, are losing political influence on the southern bank of the Mediterranean.”

On 25 July, Tunisian President Kais Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government.

This comes after violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities criticising the government’s handling of the economy and the coronavirus. Demonstrators had called for parliament to be dissolved.

The majority of the country’s political parties slammed the move as a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

READ: Tunisia’s instability and coup are backed by the UAE, Saudi