Tunisia ready for contacts with IMF, but under ‘certain conditions’

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Tunisia has never announced it was decided to halt contacts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is ready to negotiate with the organisation, Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar said on Tuesday.

Ammar, however, insisted at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that there are “red lines” that cannot be crossed.

In April, Tunisian President Kais Saied said that his country rejected the diktat from the IMF, thus making it clear that he did not agree with the terms of the organisation’s bailout package for the North African country, media reported.

“We have never said we are cutting off any contacts with the IMF, no. We have certain conditions, and we need to be clear: the protection of the country, the protection of the most vulnerable categories of citizens — these are red lines and within these lines, we are ready to negotiate,” Ammar said.

He warned against jeopardizing the stability and security of Tunisia by exercising any options, adding that there had been terrible results from this kind of policy in the past.

In December 2022, the IMF suspended consideration of a $1.9 billion loan to Tunisia, which is experiencing economic difficulties.

One of the conditions for allocating the money is cutting subsidies for food and energy, as well as reforming state-owned companies.

Saied said that it was unacceptable and that the implementation of the demands would lead to greater poverty.

Tunisia is experiencing an economic crisis along with a political one: back in April 2020, the IMF said the Tunisian economy was facing the worst recession since the country gained independence in 1956.

The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the resulting cessation of the flow of tourists to the country caused tangible damage

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