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Under Tight Security, Tunisia Commemorates Revolution Anniversary

Under Tight Security, Tunisia Commemorates Revolution Anniversary

Tuesday, 15 January, 2019 - 08:45
University professors and teachers take part in a protest to demand higher wages in Tunis, Tunisia December 19, 2018. (Reuters)
Tunis - Asharq Al-Awsat
Thousands of Tunisians rallied under tight security measures on Monday to mark eight years since the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

President Beji Caid Essebsi used the occasion to call on the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) to cancel a general strike scheduled on Thursday to demand a wage raise.

During the opening of an exhibition at the Bardo museum that marks the revolution, Essebsi warned of the danger that a general strike posed.

He acknowledged that the purchasing power of the Tunisians was declining after inflation reached 7.5 percent.

At the Habib Bourguiba Avenue, thousands of demonstrators, especially political party supporters, organized Monday festive rallies to mark the revolt.

UGTT Noureddine Taboubi delivered a speech before the crowd and expressed his insistence to stage the strike.

Although Tunisia continues to proceed with democracy and the political transition after the so-called “Arab Spring”, the economy still faces challenges.

Unemployment stands at 15.5 percent, with those worst hit being young university graduates, and the dinar value drops before the euro and dollar.

The Tunisian president pledged to publish the final list of martyrs and wounded of the uprising – an announcement that has been delayed since 2011. This could introduce financial settlements with the families.

The assigned committee has finalized its mission one year ago, affirmed the president, and results will be published in the official gazette soon.

During the revolution from December 17, 2010 until January 14 2011, more than 300 were killed, while thousands of others were wounded. But no accurate numbers were officially announced since the list has been revised several times since 2011 to determine the exact number and avoid any deceit.

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