Tunisian PM says security breaches causing economic disorder


Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on Monday deplored serious security breaches in key sectors which were wreaking economic havoc.

Jebali criticized such actions as the “cordoning of entire towns, attacks on hospitals, the destruction of equipment and enterprises closing down.”

He said it cost the Tunisian economy 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in 2011.

A spate of protest actions is paralyzing parts of Tunisia one year after the north African country's popular revolt sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

“I am not calling into question strikes and legal protests which are a right, but I am speaking of dangerous and serious practices which impinge on the rights of our people,” he said.

Jebali said some of these actions were “exploited for political ends”, but did not elaborate.

He added that “some foreign companies are closing shop and the next tourist season is threatened”, due to the insecurity.

Tourism earnings in Tunisia fell almost 40 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011 to 1.5 billion dinars (780 million euros).