Interim Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh said Tunisia’s external debt, which is currently between 46 and 47% of the GDP, is not very high.
He stressed that Tunisia has sought a 2.7-billion loan from the IMF, with a very low interest rate (1.08%). He insisted that Tunisia is a full member at the IMF, and has the right to use the resources of the fund to finance development projects.
The conditions imposed by the IMF to grant the loan in question correspond to the reforms adopted by Tunisia and are currently underway, as they will be beneficial for the Tunisian economy and ensure the overall financial stability of the country, namely, the situation of social security funds (CNSS CNRPS, CNAM) and public banks, the compensation fund and the issue of oil subsidy.
Ali Laarayedh called on journalists and politicians to rethink the idea they have of the IMF as an advocate of ultra-liberalism, and adapt it to the new directions of the Fund which has introduced the social dimension in its analysis and policy. He acknowledged, however, that the IMF will begin monitoring with Tunisia the progress of reforms themselves.
The Prime Minister has also indicated that the support mechanisms for the Arab Spring countries, initiated by the G8 in Deauville in 2011, require the beneficiary countries the same reforms. These reforms open the door wide to the international financing of the Tunisian economy.