Unrest erupts in Tunisia over austerity measures
13 January, 2018
Peace demonstrations in Tunisia against price hikes, following austerity measures including increased value-added taxes and social security contributions, escalated in violent unrest last week.
Police and army forces were deployed in several cities, including in Tebourba, 30km west of the capital Tunis, where hundreds of young people took to the streets after the funeral of a man who died in an unrest on Monday. Police denied killing him. Authorities said last Thursday that the number of arrests has risen above 500, 21 members of the security forces were injured.
Tunisia is widely seen as the only democratic success story among the nations where Arab Spring revolts took place in 2011, but it has had nine governments since then, and none of them has been able to tackle growing economic problems. Europe is concerned about stability in Tunisia, where unemployment forced many young Tunisians to go abroad. The number of boats smuggling migrants to Italy has been rising, and Tunisia has also produced the largest number of jihadists heading to Iraq, Syria and Libya.