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Tunisia to gradually abolition bread subsidies

December 14, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Bakers go on a strike to protest the government’s delay in the allocation of bread subsidies in Tunis, Tunisia on October 19, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia has issued a plan to start the gradual abolition of bread subsidies over the next four years, an informed source told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In the first stage of the plan, there will be a reduction in the number of bakeries operating in the production of subsidised bread, in parallel with the gradual increase in prices.

The real price of unsubsidised large bread is 465 millimes per loaf, while it is sold to the public at 230 millimes, according to government data. While the real price of packaged bread is 274 millimes and it is sold to the public for 190 millimes.

Many Tunisians fear the repercussions of the government’s plan to abolish basic subsidies, especially in light of the high prices the country is witnessing. While analysts assert that lifting subsidies comes within the framework of an economic plan agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to grant Tunisia a new loan of $1.9 billion.

Bakeries that produce subsidised bread – estimated at 3,320 – now also face an uncertain future, with thousands of jobs at risk. Subsidies have been in place for six decades.

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