IMF team visits Tunisia for bailout talks

Officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are visiting Tunisia for holding negotiations over a bailout package, the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) said.

The BCT said the two-week visit involves officials from the bank and the finance ministry.

The talks examine a reform plan presented by the government which aims to meet IMF conditions for loan experts say is likely to be worth around two billion euros.

Tunisia has been suffering under a grinding economic crisis and exploding public debt exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

The government has proposed a reform package that includes freezing the public wage bill, cutting some subsidies and restructuring state firms.

But the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), which staged a nationwide public sector strike last month over pay, has rejected the options aimed at meeting IMF demands.

An IMF team said in March that the country faced “major structural challenges”, with low growth and investment, along with high unemployment and gaping inequality.

Those woes have become ever more acute as the war in Ukraine has sent prices of key energy and food imports soaring.


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