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More than 200 arrested on another night of Wrath in Tunisia

Demonstrations against the government's austerity policy have already spread almost throughout the country's geography

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More than 200 arrested on another night of Wrath in Tunisia

The mobilizations began last weekend convened by platform Fesh Nastanneu? ("What are we waiting for?), created by a group of young people on January 3 in response to cuts in subsidies and tax increases collected in budget law of 2018." We intend to continue our demonstrations until we get budget withdrawn. Our protest is peaceful, and our platform members are trying to protect public buildings, "said group activist Zeinab bin Ahmed, rejecting government's accusation of" vandalism. "

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Although re were no mobilizations on island of Yerba, one of main tourist centers of country, a group of strangers threw last night several Molotov cocktails against a Jewish school, which caused malfunctions in building, but re were no mortal victims. Yerba, located near Libyan border, houses largest Jewish community in Arab world, consisting of about 1,200 people. It is also one of oldest in Jewish diaspora, since it settled in this territory more than 2,000 years ago.

Tunisia, only country in region with a government elected at polls, is experiencing a delicate economic situation since 2011 revolution. The various executives who have assumed reins of country relied on an increase in public spending to relaunch economy. However, growth rate is maintained in moderate records, about 2%, unable to provide work for thousands of unemployed and frustrated young people who are driving force of protests. With public debt skimming threshold of 70%, Prime Minister Yusuf Chahed's government has opted for a containment of spending and signing of a credit with IMF to clean up public accounts.

The executive, formed by a "great coalition" between conservative Nidá Tunis and moderate Islamists of Ennahda, enjoys a large majority in Popular assembly and has not shown any fissure in management of present crisis. Moreover, opposition is divided and fragmented into dozens of small parties. The biggest counterweight is UGTT, country's largest union, accustomed to play a political role. Following protests, its Secretary-General, Nureddin Tabboubi, has urged government to raise minimum wage and aid to families in need to appease waters.

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