Tunisia anti-austerity protests turn deadly
Plus: READ BELOW our analysis on the recent protests.
Protests have broken out across Tunisia after austerity measures came into effect on January 1. The country’s main opposition party has said it will keep protests going until the government drops its 2018 budget.
Protests broke out in more than 10 towns against price and tax increases put in place by the government in an attempt to stabilize Tunisia’s economic crisis.
About 300 people demonstrated in the streets of the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, the center of the country’s Arab Spring revolution.
A 43-year old male protester died in unclear circumstances in the town of Tebourba, 40 kilometers west of the capital Tunis.
The Interior Ministry denied that the protester was killed due to police violence, but an autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of death
National Security chief Walid Ben Hkima said 11 officers were wounded in the clashes, some after being hit by stones and Molotov cocktails.
Khelifa Chibani, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said 44 people had been arrested for carrying weapons such as knives,´setting government buildings on fire and looting shops.
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Hamma Hammami, leader of the opposition Popular Front party, told reporters that multiple opposition groups would meet on Tuesday to “coordinate our movements”.
“We will stay on the street and we will increase the pace of the protests until the unjust financial law is dropped,” he said, according to Reuters news agency.
Tunisia’s prime minister promised Tuesday to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes left one person dead and raised fears of broader unrest in the country
What’s to Come?
Tunisia’s main opposition party has called for continued protests against “unjust” government austerity measures, a day after widespread demonstrations left one person dead and several others injured, according to reports.
Insight: The government is caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t appease the protesters they risk widespread chaos; if they void the recently passed financial law then they risk the “wrath” of the IMF. Our forecast is that the protests will continue to spread until the government announces concessions.