Tunisia’s government is paralyzed, stuck between the IMF’s tough structural reform demands and meeting the basic needs of its populace. Political and economic instability has seen both tourism and foreign investment collapse, whilst key upstream investor OMV is pulling further back.
Long-touted as the Arab Spring’s only success story, Tunisia has navigated a difficult path toward democracy since the overthrow of dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January 2011.
But nine governments later, the country’s economic prospects look bleaker than before the Jasmine Revolution. One of the main drivers of the overthrow of Ben Ali was youth unemployment. Fast-forward seven years and overall unemployment is at 15.4% (for Q2), while the youth rate remains at a whopping 36.3%.
Tunisia may be democratic, but the country is struggling. From an average of 4.5% in the five years leading up to the revolution, growth...