Tunisia PM defends policies in face of unrest

2016-01-27 20:41
New Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid. (Hassene Dridi, AP)

New Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid. (Hassene Dridi, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tunis - Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid defended his government on Wednesday before parliament, faced with unemployment and poverty at the root of the worst social unrest since the 2011 revolution.

"We have tried, as far as possible, to improve the situation," he told a special parliamentary session on last week's protests that led to clashes with security forces in which dozens of people were injured, mostly in the disadvantaged centre of Tunisia.

"We could make people quieten down by telling them, 'We are going to create 1 000 jobs' ... but we want to tell the people the truth," he said.

"We've started to find solutions. We don't have solutions for everybody but we do have some solutions," the prime minister said, without giving specifics.

"The responsibility [to find solutions] lies not only with the government," said Essid, urging opposition parties and civil society to join forces with his administration to address people's demands.

A nationwide nigh time curfew was imposed on Friday after the protests, which started in the central town of Kasserine where an unemployed man died of electrocution during a January 16 protest over the lack of economic prospects in the region.

The unrest, the worst since the revolution five years ago that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, spread to several other towns and to Tunis where shops were burned and looted in one suburb.

While Tunisia is considered a rare success story of the 2011 regional uprisings known as the Arab Spring, the authorities have failed to resolve the problems of social exclusion and regional inequalities.

Apart from the economic damage wrought by political instability in post-Ben Ali Tunisia, two jihadist attacks last year targeting foreigners killed 60 people, battering Tunisia's vital tourism industry.

The recent social unrest echoes the public anger that erupted after the death of young fruit seller Mohammed Bouazizi in the central town of Sidi Bouzid in December 2011.

Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest at unemployment and police harassment, sparking the uprising that toppled Ben Ali - whose rule was tainted by graft accusations - and inspiring the Arab Spring revolts.

Read more on:    habib essid  |  tunisia  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.