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Taboubi: 'Purchasing power of Tunisians declines by 38%'

Tunisian General Secretary of Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi in Tunis on November 22, 2018 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisian General Secretary of Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi in Tunis on November 22, 2018 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi announced on Friday that the purchasing power of Tunisians had declined by 38 per cent, despite official figures indicating a decrease of 25 per cent.

"The economic and social situation of workers is deteriorating, and the official inflation rate which points to five and six per cent is not real, rather it exceeds that," Taboubi explained to journalists during a union meeting in Gafsa.

Taboubi called for setting aside differences and holding a national dialogue prior to elections.

The necessity requires the meeting of all political parties at the table of a national dialogue, besides setting aside all differences and abandoning the principle of narrow interests in order to reach the elections

Taboubi continued.

He emphasised: "We have to get over the difference of considering what happened last 25 July as a coup or not. In fact, the Tunisian people are paying the bill for this difference, in addition to the deterioration of social and economic conditions."

"The difference in ideas ensures producing good dialogue, but what is happening today in Tunisia will only worsen the situation and deepen the crisis. As a labour organisation that heads towards national interests, we will not remain silent before this situation," Taboubi added.

Since 25 July, Tunisia has suffered a severe political crisis when President Kais Saied imposed "exceptional measures", including suspending parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the government and appointing a new one.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia, including the Ennahda Movement, which has a parliamentary majority, reject these measures and consider them a "coup against the constitution". Other forces, however, support them and consider them a correction of the course of the 2011 revolution, which overthrew the rule of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

READ: Tunisia is back to square one and has to put civil freedoms first

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