Tunisia president to meet unions, employers amid protests

Tunisia president to meet unions, employers amid protests

Since Monday, Tunisia has been rocked by a wave of popular protest against a raft of unpopular government austerity measures.

Activists and the opposition have called for fresh protests on Sunday, the seventh anniversary of Ben Ali's overthrow.

The government of Tunisia has made a decision to use units of the army due to mass protests in the country caused by high prices and taxes.

A spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry, Khalifa Chibani, said: "The protests have decline and there was no vandalism or destruction last night, but the police arrested 150 individuals involved in acts of vandalism and rioting committed in the past few days".

While the other revolutions have descended into violence or given way to authoritarianism, Tunisia is widely seen as a success story of the Arab Spring. Two major militant attacks in 2015 also greatly damaged the country's tourism industry, which made up eight percent of gross domestic product.

Chahed on Wednesday accused the opposition of fuelling dissent by calling for more protests.

There were no protests in Djerba itself, but locals said unknown assailants had exploited the fact that there was a reduced security presence as police were busy elsewhere. The protest was attended not less than 12 thousand people.

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The main labour union and Islamists, who co-rule with secular forces, had demanded an increase in aid for poor families after the protests began. The Interior Ministry said that the 43-year old male was not killed due to police violence, but an autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of death.

The protests have drawn in hundreds in each town where they have taken place, though they have been smaller than previous waves of demonstrations since 2011.

Protesters are primarily taking issue with a new finance act in the country, which had led to increases in the value-added tax and consumer prices.

Its democracy remains for the most part intact and a secular party now leads the government in coalition with a moderate Islamist group.

But in a sign that the public coffers are strained, Taoufik Rajhi, minister of economic reforms, told parliament there was no extra money for the health sector, infrastructure or education.

There was no immediate response from the government.

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