News Worms
News Worms

Tunisia protests: Hundreds arrested

Tunisia protests: Hundreds arrested

About 50 police were wounded in clashes and 237 people were arrested on Tuesday, said an interior ministry spokesman, Khelifa Chibani.

Protests took place in a number of towns across Tunisia on Monday following the government's decision to raise taxes under its 2018 Finance Act.

The protests are much smaller compared to previous turmoil seen in Tunisia since the overthrow of autocrat ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

On Wednesday, the Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, accused the opposition of fuelling dissent by calling for more protests.

Police and military forces have been deployed to several cities after rallies organised to protest against price and tax increases in a tough budget. In Sidi Bouzid, the hometown of the Arab Spring, and in Meknassy, a neighboring city, young jobless people have been marching to protest the high cost of living and the lack of jobs.

The deceased suffered from chronic breathing problems and died due to suffocation from inhaling tear gas, the news agency said, denying reports that he was run over by a vehicle belonging to security forces. Meanwhile terrorist attacks such as the massacre in Sousse in 2015 in which 38 people, mostly British holidaymakers, were killed, have damaged the country's once-flourishing tourism industry.

Image    Twenty-one members of the security forces were injured
Image Twenty-one members of the security forces were injured

Demonstrations have broken out in the capital and other towns, with protesters blocking roads and throwing stones at police, who responded with rubber bullets, according to Mosaique FM radio.

Police have insisted they did not kill the man.

"The sharp decline of the dinar threatens to deepen the trade deficit and make debt service payments tighter, which will increase Tunisia's financial difficulties", he said.

Hammami said the government's austerity measures were to blame for the economic situation.

Europe is concerned about stability in Tunisia, partly because unemployment there has forced many young Tunisians to go overseas: The number of boats smuggling migrants to Italy has been rising and Tunisia has also produced the largest number of militants heading for battlefields in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

The rise in prices that came as a result of the economic reform is part of the guarantees given by the state to the International Monetary Fund, as part of a package of benefits it received for the rehabilitation of its economy. And more demonstrations are planned in the coming days to mark seven years since the ouster of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011.


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