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Chahed says no red lines in war against corruption, no one immune

Published the:  31/08/2018

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(TAP) – "There are no red lines in the war against corruption and no one is immune," the Prime Minister warned.

"We seek the rule of law and transparency," Youssef Chahed Friday said a few hours after dismissing Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies Khaled Gaddour, Secretary of State for Mines Hachem Hmidi and a number of senior officials over the exploitation without license by a Tunisian investor of an oil field in Monastir coasts.

"The government will take necessary steps to increase transparency in the energy sector," he said on the sidelines of his periodic meeting with the government members at Belvédère Officers' Mess.

Chahed said, in this vein, he tasked the General Public Service Control Authority (French: ICGSP) and the one of the General Control of Finances (French: CGF) with initiating an enquiry before bringing action in court.

"Boosting energy investments does not mean the plundering nor the non-transparent exploitation of national wealth," Chahed underscored.

"These affairs are important and dangerous and we cannot tolerate this," he added.

" I am resolutely committed to carrying on the war against corruption for I fear nothing but God and I am keen to safeguard the national wealth which the Tunisian people entrusted to me," Chahed highlighted.

The Prime Minister Friday sacked Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies Khaled Gaddour and Secretary of State for Mines Hachem Hmidi as well as the Director General and CEO of the Tunisian Company of Petroleum Activities(French: ETAP).

Chahed also decided to merge the Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy Ministry and that of Industry and Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises and set up a committee of experts under the Prime Ministry to restructure the Energy Ministry and reconsider the mode of governance of the energy and mining sector.

Outlining reasons behind the announced removals from office, Government Spokesperson Iyed Dahmani said a Tunisian investor was allowed to exploit an oil field in Monastir without going through a licensing round.

The deadline for the exploitation of the oil field expired in 2009, he told a news conference