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Borrell: The situation in Tunisia is very, very dangerous for Europe

Josep Borrell, the head of foreign affairs for the European Union, stated yesterday that the EU is worried about Tunisia's deteriorating political and economic position and believes that it may collapse.

March 21, 2023 at 9:22 am

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell yesterday announced that the EU is concerned about the deteriorating political and economic situation in Tunisia and fears it may collapse.

“The situation in Tunisia is very, very dangerous,” Borrell warned, after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.“If it collapses economically or socially then we will be in a situation where new flows of migrants will come to Europe. We have to avoid this situation,” he said.

He explained that the EU foreign ministers asked Belgium and Portugal to send representatives to visit Tunisia to “assess the situation and to come back with a report that will guide our future steps.”

“The European Union cannot help a country unable to sign an agreement with the InternationalMonetary Fund,” said Borrell, stressing that “President Kais Saied must sign with the IMF and implement the agreement, otherwise the situation will be very serious for Tunisia.”

Saied imposed exceptional measures on 25 July 2021, which included the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council and Parliament, the issuance of legislation by presidential orders, and the approval of a constitution through a referendum.

Tunisian forces consider Saied’s measures as a “consolidation of absolute individual rule” and a “coup against the revolution. His supporters, however, claim he acted as a “correction of the course of the 2011 revolution”, which overthrew former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

However, Saied, who assumed the presidency for a presidential term of five years in 2019, considered that his measures were “necessary and legal” to save the state from “total collapse”.

The subsequent unrest in the country has led the IMF to cease talks about a possible loan to help boost the country’s economic recovery following the coronavirus and these political measures.

READ: Italy calls on IMF to release Tunisia loan to tackle new wave of migrants to Europe