Algeria lends $300m to cash-strapped Tunisia

5. Algeria
The historic Medina quarter of Tunis, Tunisia, Sept. 28, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
TUNIS — Heavily indebted Tunisia said Tuesday it had received a loan from oil-rich neighbor Algeria, the day before a visit by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.اضافة اعلان

The official journal said that President Kais Saied had signed off a deal reached on December 9 for “a loan worth $300 million”.

Tunisia’s public finances have been battered by a decade of political instability, low investment and structural problems, with debts approaching 100 percent of GDP and unemployment at 18 percent.

Saied on July 25 sacked the government and seized an array of powers, but has not laid out a plan to rescue the country’s dire economy, despite announcing plans on Monday night for constitutional reforms and new elections in 2022.

Tunisia’s economy has grown at just 0.6 percent a year since its 2011 revolution, while inflation has surged at six percent a year.

An unwelcoming business environment has discouraged investors.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the situation in the North African country far worse, slashing jobs in the vital tourism sector, high commodity prices have hurt reserves, and a drought has battered farmers.

Tunis has received economic aid from the European Union and is seeking its fourth aid program in 10 years from the International Monetary Fund, aiming to receive a loan of nearly $4 billion before the end of the year.

In October a central bank official said Tunis was in discussions with Emirati and Saudi officials for financial assistance, but no such program has been announced to date.

Read more Business