Can the Taxman Save Tunisia?
Kais Saied, who rode into power in 2019 on the slogan “the people want” and who took sole control of the country almost two years ago amid a wave of popular support after years of political gridlock and economic decline, has limited options for how to wrest Tunisia from the grips of economic disaster — and none of them is particularly what “the people want.”
A Reunion, Before the Gunshots
Inside, the revelers were packed into the courtyard like the sweet sardines fished just off Djerba’s shores. Strands of bunting of Tunisian flags were strung from the upper floors. “Everyone was drinking. Everyone was dancing,” as music — sung in Judeo-Arabic — boomed from the stage set in their midst. There were swirls of color and glints of light off of gold and silver jewelry, their tintinnabulation adding to the din of the music.
Tunisia’s Security Forces Are Supposed To Stop Migration. Instead, They’re Fueling the Flight of Many
There is a paradox at the heart of Tunisia’s security sector: The country’s police, who receive outsize amounts of funding from the European Union, United Kingdom, United States and other foreign entities to crack down on extremism and control illegal immigration, are in reality exacerbating the issues they’re funded to fix.
Tunisia’s Kais Saied Balks at IMF Bailout
The consequences of a default would be catastrophic for Tunisia. The country’s 2023 budget only balances on the assumption of the IMF deal going through. Budget allocations for everything from health care to education to sanitation would dry up. Foreign currency reserves, already low, would disappear; without them the government cannot buy subsidized goods or pay public salaries.
Tunisia’s President Gives Life to a Zionism Conspiracy Theory
For months, President Kais Saied and his closest advisers have been ingesting the bizarre musings circulated by a tiny, obscure party on Facebook, with one particularly pernicious theory gripping his attention: that Black migrants are pawns in a Zionist settler movement designed to fundamentally strip Tunisia of its identity and land.
Tunisia’s President Embraces the ‘Great Replacement Theory’
Despite being the first Arab nation to criminalize racial violence, Tunisia has begun a campaign targeting Black immigrants after a racist speech by President Kais Saied.
What “Wait and See” Has Brought Tunisia
Tunisians and the international community have largely approached President Kais Saied’s attempt at one-man rule with an attitude of “wait and see.” Recent political arrests show why that approach is growing ever more dangerous.