EU Blacklists Tunisia for Increased Risk of Money Laundering, Terror Funding

Thursday, 8 February, 2018 - 12:45
Tunis – Al Munji Al Saeedani

Tunisian Machrouu Tounes party lawmaker Hassouna al Nasafi said that the European Union slammed Tunisia for being most prone to money laundering operations and terror funding.

The European Parliament put the North African country on a blacklist of non-EU nations amid fears it posed a risk over money laundering and terrorist financing, such a move is said to slowdown development projects in Tunisia and impose a direct negative effect on foreign investment.

Removing Tunisia from the list requires the support of 375 EU deputies, but Wednesday’s vote lacked 18 votes to Tunisia’s favor, putting the country up against some negative fallout which could affect a number of its economic sectors.

In his first official reaction to this classification, Tunisian Foreign Minister Khamis Al-Jahnawi affirmed during his meeting with President Beji Caid Essebsi that Tunisia “continues to exert all efforts to exclude itself from unjust labeling in lists that do not take into account their economic specifics.”

Last December, Tunisia was listed by the EU as a blacklist of tax havens against the government's concession to foreign investors.

As for terrorism, Tunisian security sources confirmed that the number of defendants held on charges of terrorism amounted to 1,270 by the end of last December, 190 of which have received their judicial rulings.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed proposed Wednesday to replace Chedli Ayari with 58-year-old Marouane El Abassi, currently the representative of Tunisia and Libya to the World Bank.

Tunisian media has accused the Central Bank of Tunisia under Ayari of turning a blind eye to “obscure transfers” received from non-governmental organizations and political parties.

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