A loan of 500 million Euros to Tunisia, carried out on favorable terms, in order to help the country reduce its external debt and consolidate their democratic mechanisms, was approved by Parliament on Wednesday. To have access to credit, Tunisia will have to sign a memorandum of understanding with the European Commission, pledging to implement structural reforms and to pursue sound public finances.

In addition, Tunisia will have to guarantee the respect of democratic mechanisms, the rule of law and human rights, under EU supervision. Once made these conditions, Tunisia can avail the loan for a period of two and a half years.

The EU loan to Tunisia will join the 2.9 billion euro of aid allocated by the International Monetary Fund. The resolution was approved with 561 votes in favor, 76 against and 42 abstentions.

The economy of Tunisia is in serious difficulties since the beginning of the Arab Spring revolution in 2011. In 2015, the country was hit by terrorist attacks that disrupted the flow of tourists and exacerbated his already weak fiscal balance and position in credits. The growth forecast for 2016 is 0.5%, while in 2015 declined by 3%. The unemployment rate stands at 20% for women and 28.6% for young graduates; the overall average is 15%.

The EU has granted to Tunisia € 300 million of financial aid in 2014. In August 2015, the Tunisian government has asked the EU to contribute 500 million euro to a second assistance program and supplementary loans of the IMF international (FMI).

Following a vote by the European Parliament in 2016, the EU has also granted to Tunisia a temporary additional quota for imports of olive oil duty-free.


Source: medNews