After A Week Of Unrest, Tunisian Government Announced Social Reforms
Protests have taken the streets of Tunisia since the seventh of January, after the government raised value-added tax and social contributions, and increased some prices on goods in its 2018 budget. People argue that the conditions have not improved since the overthrow of President Ben Ali at the start of the Arab uprisings.
According to BBC, the unrest resulted in 800 arrests. After a week of the protests, two hours of crisis talks at the presidential palace led to the announcement of social reforms. The talks included President Essebsi, political parties, and the Tunisian trade unions.
Social Affairs Minister Mohammed Trabelsi said the government proposed increasing welfare payments to those in need by 170m dinars. 250,000 families of the poor and middle class should be affected by the reforms. In a short and informal speech, Mr Essebsi stated: “We feel for you, these are our families.”
“Be modest, your country does not have a lot of means.” He added. The reforms are expected to tackle medical care, housing, and increase aid to the poor.