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Is Tunisian democracy in danger of collapse?

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If Prime Minister Youssef Chahed is to be believed, then 2018 will be the last difficult year for post-revolutionary Tunisia.

He asserts that economic recovery is in full swing and says the country's tourism industry has finally picked up again. He also says that the current austerity measures and tax increases have been demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is Tunisia's biggest lender, in a bid to reduce the budget deficit to less than 6 percent.

But few Tunisians, least of all the young, believe Chahed and are taking to the streets to protest and wreak havoc. Time and time again, they have been urged to be patient. They are told that in half a year, or one year's time, or by 2020 at the latest, Tunisians will finally reap the rewards of the 2011 "Jasmine Revolution” and enjoy liberty, dignity and employment.

The revolutionary struggle certainly delivered freedom for Tunisians. But for far too many, the dignity of employment and a steady income still remain unattainable.

Read more: Arrests in Tunisia near 800 amid protests

Protests in Tunisia have been gaining momentum

Phony friends

Tunisia needs money to solve its many problems. And lots of it. The IMF has granted the country 2.4 billion euros ($2.93 billion) in loans up to 2020 but has, in turn, demanded the state disengage from the economic realm and employ fewer people. This, however, has had a devastating effect on the economy and society, especially for Tunisians in the economically deprived hinterland, which has always suffered from neglect.

DW's Amroune Bachir

There isn't a shortage of ideas of how to implement change, however. In late November 2016, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi announced the "Tunisia 2020” plan at an international donor conference. It........

© Deutsche Welle