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Paris calls for resumption of talks between Tunis and IMF

Paris calls for resumption of talks between Tunis and IMF
The logo of the International Monetary Fund, April 5, 2021, in Washington   -  
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Andrew Harnik/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved


The French Foreign Ministry has called for a resumption of discussions between the Tunisian authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "with a view to reaching a final agreement.

In mid-October, the Washington institution reached an agreement with the Tunisian government to allow the release of a payment of 1.9 billion dollars to help Tunisia face serious economic difficulties.

But the aid, which was to be disbursed in instalments starting in December, has not yet been approved by the IMF Board.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has learned "with concern the postponement of the examination of the file of Tunisia by the IMF board," said Monday Anne-Claire Legendre, the spokesman for the Quai d'Orsay in a statement.

In return for the IMF loan, the government has committed to reforms including a gradual lifting of state subsidies for basic products (food and energy) and a restructuring of public companies that have a monopoly in many sectors.

Paris recalls the need to engage "without delay" the reforms necessary for the stability and prosperity of the country, reacted Anne-Claire Legendre.

In addition, France has taken "note of the preliminary results and the low level of participation" in the first round of the Tunisian legislative elections.

The legislative elections were marked on Saturday by a record abstention (over 90%), a slap in the face for President Kais Saied, whose opposition is calling for his departure.

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