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PM in Sousse: “this is not a caretaker government

Published the:  14/03/2018

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(TAP) - Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said his government has achieved positive results as soon as it took office. "It's not a caretaker government,” he stressed.

Chahed visited Sousse on Wednesday where he laid the foundation stone of the seawater desalination plant.

"This government has had the merit of initiating fundamental reforms, including the reform of the public service, social funds and public institutions in addition to the treatment of the wage bill issue," he said.

Chahed, in this context, affirmed that the government is continuing the mission entrusted to it.

On the seawater desalination project launched on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said it will be achieved through a global cost of 125 million dinars.

The project will provide drinking water to nearly 5 million citizens, he said.

On reports about a possible cabinet reshuffle, Youssef Chahed said the government is now focusing on monitoring the achievements in terms of production “which has gradually resumed its normal pace, especially with the recovery expected in the textile, tourism and industrial sectors.”

"All figures and indicators point to a gradual recovery to help increase exports and jobs,” he said.

Chahed, however, expressed the government's concern about the proposed public finance reforms, particularly in view of the difficulties of reforming the social security funds, public institutions and dealing with the payroll issue.

"The trust of Tunisia's international partners will not be restored and the country's ranking will only improve if the proposed fundamental reforms are completed," he emphasised.

Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), Noureddine Tabboubi had told reporters on Tuesday "the Youssef Chahed’s government is facing a number of difficulties and is therefore a government in charge of day-to-day management."

At their meeting Tuesday at Carthage Palace under the chairmanship of President Béji Caïd Essebsi, the signatories of the Carthage Document have decided to create a committee whose mission will be to define the priorities of the national economy and propose appropriate reforms.

This committee will be composed of two representatives from each party and from each signatory organisation of the Carthage Document.

According to concurring statements by participants at the meeting, the committee will study the issue of a possible cabinet shuffle based on an evaluation of the government's performance.

The meeting of the signatories of the Carthage Document took place in the presence of representatives of Nidaa Tounes, Ennahdha, Al-Moubadara, Al-Massar and the Free Patriotic Union (UPL).

Representatives of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) and the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT) were also present