The Tunisian presidency announced at dawn on Friday that President Kais Saied had informed the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, that the Fund’s conditions for providing financial support to his country threatened to spark civil unrest.
A statement issued by the presidency said that President Saied made it clear that “the prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund to provide financial support to Tunisia are unacceptable, because they will affect civil peace, which has no price.”
Talks about the financial rescue plan had stalled since October, when Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund reached an experts agreement, as Saeed later expressed his categorical rejection of the idea of reducing subsidies, saying that this could cause major social tensions and harm civil peace in the country.
“No to selling state-owned enterprises”
He said clearly that he also opposes the sale of state-owned enterprises.
A senior government official told Reuters a week ago that Tunisia was preparing an alternative proposal to put it to the International Monetary Fund after President Kais Saied rejected the fund’s “dictates” regarding a $1.9 billion loan negotiated last year.
It is noteworthy that the experts’ agreement between Tunisia and the IMF includes the restructuring of state-owned companies, whose total debts in 2021 represented 40% of GDP.