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Regional disparities, a burning issue in Tunisia

Regional disparities, a burning issue in Tunisia


Failing infrastructures, poverty and unemployment are major issues confronting Tunisia five years after the revolution.

Analysts warn regional disparities remain a powerful factor militating instability in the country.

The revolution has left Kasserine in the west-central part of the country disadvantaged, after the death of a young unemployed person during a demonstration.

Our environment lacks many things. For example there is lack of transport.

An entrepreneur in the area, Farouk Ichaoui, said the uprising against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime has not yielded much fruit to the people.

“Our environment lacks many things. For example there is lack of transport. Roads are not good. There is a lack of jobs. I have been on this project for almost one and half year. I have no document.”

“We thought that the revolution against Ben Ali would change the political class. But it’s as if nothing has changed, the internal regions still suffer from poverty, unemployment and discrimination,” Abderrahman Hedhili, president of the Tunisian Forum of Business and Political Laws (FTDES) said.

The Secretary General of Kasserine, Adel Aguerbaoui, said before the revolution, the projects in the area were about 300.

But after the revolution, they had an enormous flow of projects which exceeds the capacities of the regional departments.

An analyst, Richard Joseph, complained that Ben Ali’s regime was narrow adding that benefits were provided to an increasingly small inner circle of family members, most notoriously the extended family of his second wife, Leila Ben Ali.

Analysts argue that Tunisia’s economic inequality and high unemployment may result in a higher frequency of elections and protests, but not in a regime overthrow and a return to authoritarianism.

However, Tunisia’s inequality and high unemployment directly leads to violence, which in turn places a risk on the prospects of democratic consolidation.

After the 2011 revolution, violence has increased in inland regions and threatens the consolidation of democracy.