Tunisia takes status and estamer ten years after its revolution. The vast majority of Tunisians have seen their economic situation deteriorate. Faced with this, there is a state that is struggling to deal with this crisis, a state that is struggling to reform the economy and that is under budgetary pressure that has never been seen before.
from our Special Correspondent in Tunis,
The year 2020, which has just ended, has exacerbated an already critical situation for the state’s economy. The biggest challenge has been the effects of the health crisis. Tunisia’s GDP would have increased by 8% by 2020. Key sectors such as tourism saw their activity fall by 68%. With a Covid bill estimated at 4 billion. $ Tunisia experienced its highest budget deficit in 40 years. The revenue they crashed by more than 7%. To the point that the Tunisian public sector is expanding to reach a record high of 84.8% of GDP. To finance itself, especially abroad, the Tunisian state will have a lot to do. Its sovereign rating deteriorated further at the end of the year, going from stable to negative (Fitch agency).
A tense social context
At the same time, the state is under pressure. The social context is more tense than ever with a record number of demonstrations, especially in marginalized regions that require jobs in the public sector.
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As a result, 2020 was also a record year for wage-related expenditures, rising by 12.8% to now, imagine, 77.5% of the state operating budget. Mass rentals that do not contribute (Tunisians say so) to the improvement of public services, but which certainly strain the state’s maneuvering margins, especially in terms of investment and reforms of the economy.
No relaxation in sight in 2021
The year 2021 opens in Tunisia with the prospect of new threats to the economy. The government has introduced new restrictions, including curfew and lockdown four days a week. The impact on employment is likely to worsen further as at least 250,000 additional unemployed were registered in 2020.
The state will also have to face the massive indebtedness of public companies, a problem that remains for several years. It is in this context that the use again at the International Monetary Fund, which, given the deterioration of public finances, would certainly be accompanied by draconian measures to reduce the state proposal.
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