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Tunisia’s UGTT union welcomes govt formation, seeks dialogue with President Saied

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Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labor union welcomed the formation of a new government and called on President Kais Saied to start a participatory dialogue and set a time limit on the emergency period, a UGTT official told Reuters.

Senior UGTT official Sami Tahri said the union welcomed the formation of the government, adding "public finances must be an urgent priority. As major reforms must be the subject of broad agreement and need time... it cannot be the task of a transitional government.".

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Any IMF deal would likely require a political roadmap that included broad political and social dialogue, and a plan forreforms to tackle subsidies, the high public sector wage bill and loss-making state companies.

President Saied had on Monday unveiled a new government, but gave no hint when he would relinquish his near total control after seizing most powers in July, or start reforms needed for a financial rescue package to avert economic disaster.

Several of the main cabinet members, including the foreign and finance ministers, were already serving Saied in an interim capacity, while the new interior minister is one of his staunchest allies.

“I am confident we will move from frustration to hope,” said Saied at the ceremony to swear in the government, while railing against “any who threaten the state.”

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