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Tunisia will welcome an IMF mission on 27 March to discuss the fifth review of its $2.9bn program. The IMF is not happy with Tunisia, which caved in to union pressure to grant 670,000 public servants a wage hike in February. It did the same for 150,000 state-firm employees in October ( MEES, 16 November 2018 ) .
Tunisia’s wage bill accounts for around 46% of spending, one of the highest in the world. Its 2018 trade deficit came in at a near record $7.2bn, with net oil and gas imports accounting for 33% of the total ( MEES, 1 February ).
On 21 March the IMF said that, whilst Tunisia was experiencing a modest recovery, “the economy remains vulnerable, deficits and debt are large, inflation is high, and foreign exchange reserves are low”. It’s clear Tunis has its work cut out if it wants the next instalment – so far it has received $1.4bn. (CONTINUED - 141 WORDS)