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Tunisia government holds extraordinary meeting over unrest

Tunisia government holds extraordinary meeting over unrest


The Tunisian government is holding an extraordinary meeting in response to social protests that have rocked the country since the 2011 revolution.

Prime Minister Habib Essid met with the Ministers of Defense and Interior and he is expected to give the outcome of the talks on Saturday.

The protests began in mid January in western Kasserine province located near the Algerian border, where a 28-year-old unemployed man killed himself after being denied a job.

Over the last few weeks, the protests spread in major cities around the country including the capital Tunis forcing authorities to impose a nation wide curfew on Friday.

In a televised address, Tunisian president, Beji Caid Essebi, claimed that members of the Islamic State in neighbouring countries may use the unrest in Tunisia to sneak into the country.

“We have more than 700,000 unemployed, among them 300,000 youth who have qualifications and cannot find a job. And they are being targeted by outside forces, ISIL and others,” he said.

He added that the government would put in place a program to try to ease the jobless rate which has spurred the crisis, but didn’t elaborate.

Additionally, France has announced a 1 billion euro support plan for Tunisia over the next five years which will focus on youth unemployment.