List News    News

Tunisia calls on G8 leaders to adopt plan of support to its revolution

Published the:  27/05/2011

| Share

May 27, 2011 - TAP - Tunisia called on Friday on G8 leaders meeting in Deauville (France) to adopt a plan of support to the Tunisian revolution and consider it as a global public good.
"This is both a political and economic challenge," affirmed Interim Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi in his address to the working session held behind closed doors under the theme of "Arab springs".
The challenge is a political one because if the transition to democracy should fail, it would be a serious setback for democracy in the world, he said, adding that the economic challenge remained very important for it is the responsibility of the international community to avoid the vicious circle: poverty and rising unemployment causing an upsurge of extremists which would in turn lead to increasing poverty and unemployment and increased migration.
Mr. Essebsi went on saying that this need is an urgent one "to avoid the stage of decline often seen in democratic transitions, a decline which our economies and societies cannot afford to endure."
"Tunisia can rely on its own forces but in order to bring the process it started to a successful end, it needs the voluntarist support of the International Community to have its economic and social transition succeed," he declared, adding that a G8 plan would back the ambitious economic and social development programme which we have undertaken to build-up a prosperous and stable Tunisia.
On the short term, the aim of the G8 support plan is to cope with the decline in key economic sectors such as tourist trade and meet immediate challenges in terms of budget assistance and support to regions and employment, humanitarian and health assistance for refugees from Libya and keeping of the country's economic and social balances.
On the long term, the plan would provide a lasting support to Tunisia's economic and social five-year-development plan which is focused on five priorities, the PM declared.
The point is to establish better governance, speed up infrastructure development in regions, develop human resources, secure integration into international markets and reform the financial sector.
Speaking of the financial support, the Prime Minister said "Tunisia needed a 25 billion-dollar financial contribution over 5 years in additional resources, including 5 billion dollars in the short term to mobilise four times more in additional resources-national and international, public and private- to meet the needs of transition".
Creating a financial institution specific to the region, he added, would be a strong political message and would secure optimal co-ordination of the International Community's efforts.
The second part of the G8 plan will focus on securing to Tunisia access to markets through backing for an agreement on deeper and global integration with the European Union as part of advanced status and partnership and free trade agreements with the other G8 member states.
Pending the introduction of these measures, Essebsi called for unilateral granting over a temporary timeframe, of free access to G8 countries' markets for a list of Tunisian goods.
The third part of the plan relates to rapprochement among peoples through programmes of exchange and access to knowledge for youths and a mobility partnership aimed notably for students, teachers, researchers and businessmen.
For Tunisia, such a G8 plan is all the more vital as the Tunisian Revolution now stands at the crossroads with great assets and large opportunities but also serious dangers, the Prime Minister stated.
Tunisia has indeed several assets to make this transition a success: a high literacy rate, a developed middle class, a very advanced status for women and a high level of education, he underlined.
He went on saying that these gains could not blind us to the serious dangers notably at economic level such as the declining tourist trade revenues, the impact of the Libyan uprising and the surge in oil and foodstuffs prices on the world market.
Finally the Prime Minister issued a plea to the International Community and in the first place the G8 to support the Tunisian development programme ''by announcing, as of today, a timetable and a set of precise commitments in figures which the International Community is ready to take to favour the implementation of this programme".