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Tunisia's unemployed queue for job application documents

Tunisia's unemployed queue for job application documents


Dozens of unemployed Tunisians on Monday queued outside a building in Kasserine, waiting for job application documents.

Unemployment rate in the area is at 26 percent despite the country’s national average of 15.3 percent.

The latest problem in Kasserine is a challenge to Prime Minister Habib Essid’s government after a week of protests and riots over jobs.

They keep promising us but there is nothing. Everyday they tell us tomorrow, next year or later.

Large crowds burned tires and chanted “work, freedom, dignity” during demonstrations that erupted in the central city last week after an unemployed man killed himself, after he was refused a job.

The death evoked memories of Tunisia’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising that broke out when a struggling young market vendor committed suicide.

A 27-year-old unemployed Tunisian complained of lack of jobs and development in the country. The textile technician, Houda, said Tunisian citizens held a revolution hoping they would get freedom to work and to have a future but instead they get nothing in return.

Demonstration in Kasserine began on Tuesday January 19 and spread across the country leading to violence and riots.

Police fired clouds of tear gas after protesters tried to storm a police station in Kasserine.

Unemployed Samir said it has been seven years of no work for him adding that he was sick of just promises from the government.

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, on January 23, had addressed the country saying he understood the demands of young Tunisians but that it would take time to respond to their demands.

Tunisia has been held up as a model for democratic progress since the 2011 revolution. But there has been rising tensions over lack of jobs and high living costs, especially in the country’s interior.

The country is also facing threats from Islamist militants who launched series of major attacks last year and have been gaining support from neighbouring Libya.