Tunisia –Dinar plunge plagues already battered economy

8

Location: Tunis-Tunis

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:05:05

Sound: Natural

Source: A24 in Tunisia

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date 09/13/2022

Storyline:

Tunisia’s economic crisis is increasingly evidenced by the local currency’s decline against the US dollar.

The strengthening dollar is reflected in higher prices for most consumer goods, especially imports. As a result, Tunisians are seeing reduced purchasing power and sharp inflation.

Official figures say inflation reached 8% in August, the highest in three decades.

“Even the price of salt has risen,” complains a Ministry of Agriculture employee.

Local Economist Abdul Salam Al-Harshi explained to A24 that up to forty percent of Tunisian debt is denominated in the American currency, automatically ballooning the cost to repay loans in both the private and public sectors.

Shotlist:

– Soundbite (Abdul Karim – General inspector at a private company):

“The rise in prices and high living costs in Tunisia are a result of the dark decade under the Islamist Regime. About 25% of Tunisians live off waste work and collecting plastic, 50% are unemployed, and the remaining 25% work in low income jobs and cannot afford basic necessities of life.”

– Soundbite (Abdul Bassit – Retiree):

“We are partly to blame for the high prices, as we are careless with our expenses, for example, we buy 5 loafs of bread when only 2 would suffice.”

– Soundbite (Ahmed – Employee at the Ministry of Agriculture):

“There is a significant rise in prices, on a daily basis and in a systematic manner. Some materials disappear while others become more pricey. Even the price of salt has risen. This process has several reasons including the global economic situation and war raging in Ukraine, as well as influential organizations in Tunisia, who believe the new government would harm their interests, so they began monopoly, price hikes, manipulation and smuggling. It is all a systematic process by well-known families and groups in Tunisia.”

– Soundbite (Jannat Bin Abdullah – Economist):

“The value of the dinar against the US dollar fell by 16.13 percent, according to official documents and statements issued up until Sept 7, which is a result of internal as well as external factors. The external factors involve inflationary pressures and the global crisis caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war, which led to the rise of the value of the US dollar due to the decisions of the US Federal Reserve. Internal factors involve the condition of Tunisia’s trade balance, as we have a very large deficit that has affected the value of the dinar and caused the import bill to rise. The repercussions also include purchasing power and social spending.”

– Soundbite (Abdul Salam Al-Harshi – Economic journalist):

“Thirty to forty percent of Tunisian debts are denominated in US dollars, which means that the rise of the US dollar against the dinar, causes the value of the debt to rise automatically. The rise in the value of the US dollar will also greatly affect the Tunisian market through the rise in prices of fuel, which is used in production of everything, The rise in the value of the US dollar will affect imported goods, as it can cause inflation to reach between 60-70 percent.”

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