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Essid at Institute of National Defence: 550 MTD for fight against terrorism

Published the:  07/04/2016

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07 April 2016 - TAP - A budget of 550 million Tunisian dinars is dedicated to the fight against terrorism, of which 380 MTD to support the armed forces (military and security), Prime Minister Habib Essid announced on Thursday at the Institute of National Defence, in the military base Bortal Hayder.

He noted that the government has allocated an additional amount of 90 MTD to the customs.

Habib Essid affirmed that the government has made of the security challenge a top priority and set up a national strategy to combat terrorism and smuggling.

The government has also worked in parallel to meet the social and economic challenges, particularly the issues of unemployment, development and boosting investment, he further said.

Smuggling is as dangerous as terrorism, he pointed out.  “The parallel market represents 50% of the national economy,” he lamented.

Habib Essid said terrorism is largely funded by smuggling. He added that smugglers help terrorists move in steep paths.

He recalled that several terrorist attacks were committed by terrorists who originally were smugglers, citing one of the elements that had taken part in Ben Guerdane’s attack.

Essid said the treatment of smuggling requires two kind of solutions.

The first is the creation of free zones to gain back smugglers and involve them in the creation of an economic momentum in their regions.

The second provides for the creation of additional jobs and the realization of specific programs covering many regions and business sectors.

In this regard, the Prime Minister announced the creation of a free zone in Choucha (Ben Guerdane) to be operational in 2017 with investments of more than 120 MTD. Fourteen other projects will be created on the border with Algeria, he added.