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Tunisia president dismisses head of grain office amid escalating bread crisis

August 15, 2023 at 8:50 am

Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on July 21, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday dismissed the Director General of the Grain Bureau, Bashir Al-Kathiri, amid severe shortages of grain supplies which led to disrupting bread production.

The president named Salwa Bin Hadid as the new head of the grain office, a statement said.

Saied also called on the justice minister to file lawsuits against those he accused of “monopolising the distribution of grain and other consumer goods”, which have witnessed an unprecedented rise in prices.

Tunisia is facing a shortage of grains, due to the Russian war in Ukraine, and a decline in national production by about 60 per cent due to drought.

The dismissal of the grain office head is the latest in a series of dismissals of directors in public institutions.

The Tunisian president, who greatly enhanced his powers after dissolving parliament and imposing exceptional measures in 2021, says he wants to “cleanse” state institutions and confront corruption, while the opposition accuses him of establishing individual rule and undermining democracy.

READ: Tunisia president sacks PM Bouden, appoints Ahmed Hachani