Tunisia’s new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa says the country’s economic woes could become “a catastrophe.” He says the need for future belt tightening may include cuts in subsidies.

“We have to make some painful sacrifices. This could be through rationalizing subsidies, but without touching the poorer classes,” he said in an interview with state television. He added: “We expected to borrow TD7bn ($4.4bn) in 2014,” but because of the economic crisis and the steep rise in the deficit, Tunisia’s foreign borrowing needs will now rise to TD12-13bn ($7.6-8.2bn). “The situation is more difficult than we imagined, especially on the financial level,” Mr Jomaa says. (CONTINUED - 820 WORDS)