Unrest continues to rock Tunisia as prime minister warns of clampdown
Unrest continues to rock Tunisia as prime minister warns of clampdown
One Killed as Protests against Rising Prices Build up in Tunisia
13 January, 2018, 05:27
The campaign began after the administration introduced a new set of taxes and hiked social contributions - mandated by worldwide creditors - as part of the budget for the new year. Europe is concerned about stability in Tunisia partly because unemployment there has forced many young Tunisians to go overseas.
Tunisian police walk past a police vehicle that was damaged during demonstrations the previous night in the northern town of Tebourba on Thrusday following the third night of protests in Tunisia.
The currency is likely to weaken further, said Tunisian financial risk expert Mourad Hattab.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Khalifa Chibani told local radio that 49 police officers were wounded during clashes across the North African country and that 206 "troublemakers" were arrested. While he said he respects the right to peaceful protest, he promised investigations into violent acts.
"The protesters in marginalized areas are portrayed by the authorities and mainstream media as looters or criminals", she said, but they are expressing "a real social despair".
But Prime Minister Chahed says this will be the last bad year for Tunisians.
Some protesters told Xinhua that the new law has led to the price increase in some consumer products, as it doesn't meet the expectations of the middle class, but harms the purchasing capacity of the Tunisians.
Tunisia's has been in economic crisis since 2011, when the Arab Spring uprising unseated the government.
The reforms, including subsidy cuts, are hitting hard in a nation where youth unemployment tops 25 percent, about double the national figure.
However, Tunisia has repeatedly insisted it is safe and a year ago the UK Government removed the advice for the coastal regions of the nation, including capital Tunis.
Activists have vowed to continue protests until the austerity measures are reversed, with more major rallies planned for Friday and Sunday, coinciding with the seventh anniversary of Ben Ali's fall.
On Tuesday, petrol bombs were thrown at a Jewish school on the southern tourist island of Djerba, home to an ancient Jewish community. A video circulating on Facebook on Tuesday purportedly showed how police ran over the 55-year-old man, but the country's interior ministry denied the allegations and insisted he died from "chronic shortness of breath".
There was also a protest turning violent in the capital, residents said. The army was deployed into towns across the country to protect government buildings, which have become targets.
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