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2020 budget sparks more tension in Tunisia

Preparations for the 2020 budget of Tunisia sparked considerable criticism by Tunisian experts who deemed it unrealistic and the largest in the country’s history amid political upheaval ahead of Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The government in Tunisia is trying to signal to the people that it has, through the approved budget, what it takes to reform the financial crisis.

The 2020 budget for Tunisia is worth 47 billion Tunisian dinars – about 17 billion dollars – an increase of 15.7% from the current budget which is worth 14.5 billion dollars. This means that the government is heading toward more spending in what would be Tunisia’s largest budget in history.

The budget aims to decrease deficits in the best way that allows controlling the public debt that has had a hike within the frame of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It aims as well on decreasing the foreign debts that have accumulated over the last years and hit 70% of the GDP, which is a threat to the fiscal stability of Tunisia, according to experts.

Meanwhile, Tunisian people are on the lookout for the visit of a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week to oversee the reforms’ process developments before granting the country the sixth installment of the loan agreed on in 2016 that is worth 2.9 billion dollars. This comes after the Minister Tawfik Al-Rajhi, who is appointed by the government to follow up reforms, said that the sixth installment will be worth 450 million dollars after the country has received five installments worth 1.8 billion dollars.

In the meantime, despite the increases of budget funds over the last five years, growth and development rates have not registered any remarkable progress, which casts doubt on whether or not Tunisia can improve its financial and economic status in the coming period.

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