Union leaders want reforms in migration and economy

The leader of Tunisia’s largest trade union has called on Western nations to provide more support for migrants arriving in Libya after Tunisian authorities initiated a mass expulsion in early July.

Noureddine Taboubi, Chief of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), delivered his message during a political rally in Sfax. He emphasised that Tunisia should not act as a border guard for Western countries and urged them to take responsibility for the migrants. Taboubi pointed out the history of colonialism, stressing the need for genuine development that allows people to live in dignity and prosperity in their own countries.

Approximately 250 UGTT members gathered in Sfax to honor activists who lost their lives during the French protectorate in Tunisia in 1947. During the rally, Taboubi also raised questions about Tunisia’s new Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani, appointed by President Kais Saied on August 1. He questioned the extent of the Prime Minister’s actual power and called for policies and strategies to be changed to address the country’s challenges.

Kais Saied, who was democratically elected in October 2019, assumed full powers on July 25, 2021, and has governed through presidential decree since then. He holds the authority to dismiss the head of government or ministers at any time.

Currently, Tunisia is facing shortages and financial difficulties due to an 80 percent debt-to-GDP ratio and a state policy of buying basic products before selling them at subsidised prices in the market. These challenges have put strain on the country’s resources.

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