Finance Minister Lamia Zribi denied having spoken of a possible devaluation of the dinar that would stand at 3 dinars against the euro, as reported by several media.
Speaking at a meeting with a limited number of national media to explain this issue, she added “that there are currently no objective criteria for this assumption in view of the hypothesis given the recovery in phosphate production and exports and the positive signs recorded in the tourism sector, especially in overnight stays.
She added that “there is no pragmatic and technical objective reason for the dinar shift to be 3 dinars against the euro, denying having raised this subject during her intervention on April 18, 2017, on a private radio station”.
The Minister of Finance expressed dissatisfaction with the media campaign of which she was the target, particularly what was conveyed on social networks.
She also said she was the target of a number of economists who criticised her statements about the devaluation of the value of the Tunisian dinar, causing a disruption of the foreign exchange market and a collapse of the dinar.
In this connection, she said that the Tunisian dinar recovered its value of before April 20, namely 1 euro= 2.4 dinars.
On the day of April 25, 2017: 1 euro = 2.48 dinars and 1 dollar = 2.41 dinars.
Zribi added that not her statements but rather several objective factors, mainly external payments, caused the Tunisian dinar to fall, as evidenced by the time span between the date of the statements (April 18, 2017) interaction of the foreign exchange market on April 20, 2017.
Referring to the intervention of the Ministry of Finance in foreign exchange policy, she explained that Law No. 35 of 2016 on setting the new statute of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) and in particular Article 22 stipulates that the Bank shall endeavour to carry out the foreign exchange policy defined by the government.
She said the dinar on Monday recovered its usual level before the wave of criticisms that she described as fabricated, pointing out that the value of the dinar has declined since 2011 compared to foreign currencies, especially the dollar and the euro.
The minister attributed the causes of the dinar regression to the deficit in the trade balance and the decline in exports due to the increase in imports, announcing, in this vein, that a cabinet meeting will be held shortly to discuss the rationalisation of imports and reduction of the trade deficit.
She also said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not asked Tunisia to devaluate the Tunisian dinar but to give more flexibility to the exchange rate policy.
In her answer to the requests for her dismissal for disturbing the foreign exchange market, the finance minister said she was “used to such calls since the discussion of the draft state budget and the 2017 budget law.
“I have a clear conscience and I have said nothing that can harm the national economy as it is said.