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West will overlook Tunisia's transition troubles

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Subject

Tunisia's foreign ties.

Significance

Following the ousting of Tunisia’s long-time dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in 2011, there were expectations that the West would help the country transition to a democratic state. However, Tunisia has been overshadowed by other emergencies, including Syria, Libya, migration flows and the euro-area crisis.

Impacts

  • External relations will be focused on security, setting aside urgent reforms in socio-economic sectors.
  • Internal challenges, such as corruption, will undermine Tunisian democratisation process.
  • This will perpetuate domestic anger and disillusionment with democratic processes.
  • The EU may take some steps towards local and micro-financing projects.
  • However, economic challenges of key partners such as Italy and bureaucratic Tunisian agencies could stifle those.
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