The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) reached an agreement with the government on Monday to freeze the price of basic foodstuffs in the country.
“It was agreed not to increase the prices of basic foodstuffs,” explained UGTT Secretary-General Noureddine Taboubi during a joint press conference with government spokesman Iyad Dahmani. “The Prime Minister stressed that the status of public institutions will be considered separately and will be restructured to play their social and economic role.”
Describing the meeting with the government as “more than positive,” Taboubi noted that it was agreed to accelerate the implementation of all previous agreements within a predefined schedule. No details about the agreements were mentioned. According to Dahmani, the new deal will be “ready to sign in the coming hours.”
The agreement comes days after Rida Al-Saeidi, an economic adviser to the Prime Minister, said that the country is planning to increase the prices of petrol and some basic foodstuffs, including bread, water, tea and coffee next year. “The increase,” it was pointed out, “is part of a package of immediate reforms to reduce the budget deficit.”
Tunisia is under intense pressure from international donors to introduce reforms to reduce the deficit, which the government hopes will fall to 4.9 per cent in 2018, from 6 per cent this year.
Middle East Monitor