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Tunisia president sacks the economy minister over statement about IMF

TUNISIAN President Kais Saied has sacked Economy Minister Samir Saied after fresh statements that a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be vital for obtaining other foreign financing.

The president strongly opposes what he described as the dictates of the IMF, saying that the IMF is “not sacred” and its conditions will lead to protests.

The minister told TAP state news agency on Tuesday that “lenders are wondering about Tunisia’s talks with the IMF.” adding that “any deal would give a strong signal to the rest of the financiers.”

Tunisia last year reached a staff-level deal with the IMF for a $1.9 billion loan, but it has already missed key commitments and donors believe the state’s finances are increasingly diverging from the figures the deal was based on.

The president criticized previous statements by the minister, saying that the government was charged with implementing the president’s policy.

The president assigned Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri to temporarily run the economy ministry.

Tunisia expects its economy to grow by 2.1% in 2024, up from 0.9% in 2023, and plans almost the same subsidies for fuel, electricity and food while raising taxes for banks, hotels and liquor firms, a bill on its budget showed on Tuesday.

The bill included no reference to an agreement with IMF.

By The African Mirror