The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, on Wednesday called for more investment in Tunisia which is in an economic slump but stressed the importance for the country to “fight against corruption”.
“What we need in my view, is to invest in the country. To attract foreign investment,” said Mr Schulz at a press conference in Tunis airport at the end of a three-day visit.
“I heard this call for a Marshall Plan. It always sounds very promising. But growth not only through EU investments. External capital is needed for investing,” Schulz said while referring to a call made by Tunisia’s Parliament Speaker Mohamed Ennaceur urging the EU to put in place a “Marshall Plan” to help secure his country’s struggling economy.
Schulz defended the opening of negotiations for an Agreement on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Brussels, and assured that “the opening of the Tunisian market” was intended to “attract foreign investment.”
The EU parliament head, who met in the morning with Tunisia’s president Beji Caid Essebsi, visited Sousse, the scene of an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group which killed 38 people, including 30 Britons in June, on Tuesday and urged tourists to return to the north African state.
Three bloody attacks in 2015 claimed by IS have led to a sharp drop in Tunisia’s tourism activity.
Economic difficulties coupled with lack of jobs, nearly sparked a second revolution last month after social riots in several cities rocked the country pushing the government to impose a state of emergency which was lifted end of last week.