Tunisia – Repercussions of IMF loan on Tunisians

11

Location: the capital, Tunis, Tunisia

Language: Arabic

Duration:00:05:28

Sound: natural

Source: A24 in Tunisia

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date: 10/17/2022

Storyline:

International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it reached an agreement with Tunisian authorities to grant a loan of US$1.9 billion for a period of 48 months as support for the country’s economic policies.

The loan is subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board, scheduled to discuss Tunisia’s request on December.

This agreement is part of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) mechanism that aims to restore macroeconomic stability, enhance social security and fiscal justice, intensify reforms to establish a favorable climate for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable job opportunities.

Najla Bouden’s government had launched official negotiations with IMF in order to obtain an agreement worth $4 billion that Tunisia needs to finance its budget deficit in exchange for economic reforms that include reducing and subsidizing energy and food, implementing a hiring freeze in the government sector, as well as restructuring governmental institutions.

Shotlist:

– Soundbite (Janat bin Abdullah – Economist):

“This loan will not save Tunisian economy, and loan carries a message of political dimension to other donors and international investors to support Tunisia in its stifling financial crisis, which was exacerbated by repercussions of covid-19 pandemic and Russian-Ukrainian war. This loan aims to reduce the budget deficit, it is not directed towards achieving investment, wealth or jobs opportunities, given that Tunisia’s real crisis today is not a result of the pandemic or Russian-Ukrainian war, but rather a structural crisis stemming from the policies of successive governments after the revolution, including Bouden’s government. These policies are based on the IMF structural reforms program, which exacerbated foreign debt, since it stipulates economic openness; opening borders for products to enter Tunisian market with the lowest quality standards, if not zero quality standards, as is the case with the European Union.”

– Soundbite (Lazhar – University student):

“I think the project will help Tunisians in several areas, including economic and educational sectors. It will provide many things. I hope the project will be appropriately taken advantage of.”

– Soundbite (Hassan – Trader):

“This project has put us in a very bad situation, as the IMF is a global lobbyist. There are no solutions to this crisis. Despite the completion of projects, unemployment and cost of living have increased. Tunisians are tired of current conditions, as public institutions have not improved, with poor transportation and healthcare services. We have nothing and our youth have no ambition. We are living in a vicious circle of capitalism, those who seized power in Tunisia either do not know how to manage the country or ignore reality, which is systematic.”

– Soundbite – (Wael Al-Tarzi – Tunisian expatriate and business owner):

“As a Tunisian currently residing abroad, I do not see that this loan is in Tunisia’s best interest, especially for the future of our youth, who will be the ones to pay for it. This loan is not for investment, it will not help procure cash flow into Tunisia, so our children will have to pay for it. We do not know if the situation tomorrow will be better or worse.”

– Soundbite (Najib – Employee at the Ministry of Tourism):

“This loan will not be beneficial, considering current conditions in the country but it is better than nothing. The crisis in Tunisia needs billions of billions of financial support for it to be resolved. The United States is not 100% satisfied with Tunisian authority, but approved of this loan only because we voted for it in the UN Security Council on the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

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