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Labour union: 'Situation in Tunisia cannot get any worse'

Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi on February 19, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi on February 19, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The Secretary General of the Tunisian Labour Union Noureddine Taboubi announced on Friday that what the country is currently witnessing is: "The social and economic consequences of monopolising decision-making and power."

In his speech during the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the founding of the union, which is the largest trade union organisation in the country, Taboubi shared: "The situation in Tunisia cannot get any worse than it is. Everyone should show wisdom and abandon hatred."

He stressed: "The role of the General Labour Union lies in uniting and not dividing. Tunisia is not a lab experiment for political teenagers."

'Big failure' as Tunisia sees only 9% voter turnout - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

'Big failure' as Tunisia sees only 9% voter turnout – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

He pointed out that: "26.5 per cent of subsidies on fuel and basic goods have been lifted in Tunisia, in compliance with the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)."

Last year, the IMF called on the Tunisian government to control the wage bill, which takes up a large part of total expenditures, to achieve stability in public finances.

The secretary general of the union urged: "Tunisia is not for sale, and all successive governments since 2011 have not provided anything for the country."

He continued: "There are those who argue that the people's problem lies in food, while they (the people) and their capabilities cannot be underestimated, as they are able to create a new spring."

Tunisia is suffering from an economic and financial crisis, exacerbated by the repercussions of the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine, in addition to the political turmoil it has been experiencing since President Kais Saied began imposing exceptional measures on 25 July, 2021.

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The most prominent of these measures included dissolving the Judicial Council and Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, approving a new Constitution and holding early legislative elections last December.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia reject these measures and consider them a "coup against the Constitution," while other forces support them and see them as a "course correction of the 2011 revolution," which overthrew the rule of President Ben Ali.

President Saied, who started a five-year presidential term in 2019, said his measures are "necessary and legal" to save the country from "total collapse".

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