Socialist Worker

Tunisian workers protest in new battle to stop privatisation

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2314

Workers in Tunisia have been protesting, and in some places striking, against the privatisation of factories that were nationalised during the revolution.

Workers in the country’s industrial region of Sfax have been at the centre of the resistance. Many private companies fled the country after the revolution.

Tunisia’s toppled dictator Ben Ali had given them a free hand to exploit the workforce. The new government took the industries back.

But the economy is in trouble. Unemployment is at 18 percent and the government is now looking to international aid for help.

The country got a £63.5 million grant from the US in March as well as a £254 million bond that guarantees it can borrow at favourable rates on the international market.

These came with heavy pressure to reverse the nationalisations. The World Bank and the US are both pushing the Tunisian government to expand the private sector as the “solution” to the economic stagnation.

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Tue 31 Jul 2012, 16:51 BST
Issue No. 2314
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