Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Tunisian government hoping days of protests are subsiding

Tunisian government hoping days of protests are subsiding

Protesters demanded the government scrap belt-tightening measures it imposed on January 1st. The Interior Ministry says about 800 people were detained. At least one person has been killed. He did not give estimates of the number of injured protesters.

Tunisians have started to express frustration over austerity measures expected to further increase prices in a struggling economy. The protest movement began spontaneously after a few people tagged the phrase on walls across cities in Tunisia, and it quickly gained momentum.

European governments warned their citizens about potential rioting on Friday and this weekend, when Tunisia marks seven years since the ouster of President Zine Ben Abidine Ben Ali.

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Public anger has been building since January 1, when the government raised the price of gas and other items and hiked social security contributions and taxes on cars, phone calls, internet usage and hotel accommodation.

The violence has prompted fears of instability in Tunisia, a country that is widely regarded as the only democratic success story from the Arab Spring uprisings.

"Young people are disappointed with the revolution, especially because of the high cost of living", she said, pointing to "deepening social inequalities" highlighted by official figures showing rising poverty, unemployment and illiteracy among young people.

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