Fresh violence in Tunisia after protests marking Arab Spring anniversary - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14879955
Street protests have rocked several Tunisian towns and cities, at least one protester has been killed and hundreds have been arrested, yet nobody in the West is taking any notice and Trump isn't firing off violent twitter tirades. That is remarkably different from the reaction to the protests in Iran, which Western warmongers had hoped to fan into a civil war.

Tunisia triggered the Arab Spring by an uprising against the dictatorship under the applause of the West. Yet today, conditions are worse than under the dictatorship because political instability is poison for the economy, especially for tourism on which the country depends.

Youth unemployment is higher than ever and most people are bitterly poor. While the democracy survives nominally, it is under constant threat, not least from violent Islamism. So far, most Islamists have gone fighting abroad, if they come back, it could be a threat to a country that is already under severe strain.

Violent protests erupted again on Sunday in two areas of the capital Tunis and another town after a relatively calm two days, the latest protests in the country against austerity measures.

After nearly a week of at times violent protests, police used tear gas against dozens of young protesters in the Ettadamen district of Tunis in renewed demonstrations over a tax hike.


A Reuters witness saw youths of around 20 years old throwing stones at police cars and setting fire to tyres before security forces drove them back with tear gas.

Witnesses told Reuters that violent protests were also taking place in Kram district in the capital.

Protesters in Feriana city near the Algerian border tried to cut off roads and police were chasing protesters in the streets of the city and firing gas bombs.

Protests erupted last Monday in several towns and cities across Tunisia following tax and price hikes imposed on Jan. 1 by a government seeking to reduce a budget deficit to meet an agreement with its international donors.

Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated peacefully against government austerity measures in the capital, the seventh anniversary of the ousting of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Almost 800 people have been arrested for vandalism and acts of violence, including throwing petrol bombs at police stations, according to the interior ministry.

The government late on Saturday pledged extra aid for poor families and those in need in response to the demonstrations but protesters still took to the streets, holding banners with slogans against rising prices and new taxes.

One rally took place in front of the Labor Union (UGTT) headquarters and several other protests were held along the central Habib Bourguiba Avenue, where hundreds of riot police had been deployed.

"This is what the government has done to us," said one a protester named Fouad. "Pockets are empty because of unfair decisions by the government ... I am a professor and my wife is a teacher, but we are suffering today to meet our needs."

"We have only won the freedom of expression after the 2011 revolution ... but we will remain in the streets until we win our economic rights just as we have our freedom," he added.

Police were seeking to separate supporters of the opposition Popular Front party and the Islamist Ennahda party, which is part of the ruling coalition.

The government and Ennahda accuse the PF of being behind some of the violence last week.

Prices have increased for fuel and some consumer goods, while taxes on cars, phone calls, the internet, hotel accommodation and other items have also gone up.

Tunisia has been hailed as the only democratic success of the Arab Spring: the one Arab country to topple a long-serving leader in that year's uprisings without triggering widespread violence or civil war.

But Tunisia has had nine governments since Ben Ali's overthrow, none of which have been able to resolve deep-rooted economic problems.

The economy has worsened since a vital tourism sector was nearly wiped out by a wave of deadly militant attacks in 2015, and has yet to recover despite improved security.


It's naive to think that protests or an uprising can improve the economic conditions of people. Political instability cannot but deteriorate economic conditions.
#14880049
Atlantis wrote:Youth unemployment is higher than ever and most people are bitterly poor.

A good first step would be for Tunisia and a whole series of similar countries to reduce population growth. No wonder the country remains poor when people breed like rabbits and so hinder economic growth.
Tunisia in particular had a lot of tourism from the West but that got spoiled by the Islamic terrorists.
#14880089
Ter wrote:A good first step would be for Tunisia and a whole series of similar countries to reduce population growth. No wonder the country remains poor when people breed like rabbits and so hinder economic growth.

You need a very brutal and repressive dictatorship for that. But since totalitarian rule always breads corruption, that is a losing game.

The only way is a national consensus leading to good governance, political stability and economic prosperity. Demographic growth can only be an advantage if the government uses the country's resources to benefit the public. And since, increasingly, intellectual resources become more important than natural resources, a young and dynamic population can be of great advantage if it is directed in a constructive way.
#14880098
Atlantis wrote:Street protests have rocked several Tunisian towns and cities, at least one protester has been killed and hundreds have been arrested, yet nobody in the West is taking any notice and Trump isn't firing off violent twitter tirades. That is remarkably different from the reaction to the protests in Iran, which Western warmongers had hoped to fan into a civil war.

Tunisia triggered the Arab Spring by an uprising against the dictatorship under the applause of the West. Yet today, conditions are worse than under the dictatorship because political instability is poison for the economy, especially for tourism on which the country depends.

Youth unemployment is higher than ever and most people are bitterly poor. While the democracy survives nominally, it is under constant threat, not least from violent Islamism. So far, most Islamists have gone fighting abroad, if they come back, it could be a threat to a country that is already under severe strain.


I don't know under what rock you're living, those protests have been covered since the beginning.

Having a relatively open society in the region is no doubt a challenge. The terror attack 2 years ago more or less ruined tourism for the country.
1 dead is still better than 23 dead and thousands rotting in Iran's torture prisons.
#14880214
Ter wrote:I disagree.
Tax measures, both incentives and disincentives can be successful.

The destitute and unemployment don't even pay taxes. They have children to provide for old age in the absence of national welfare. Demographic growth will not be contained before people have reached a degree of prosperity.
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