Algerians Protesting last Year
Members of the Primary teachers' union in Tunisia are on unlimited strike to call on the government to resign
After the massive demonstrations over the last few weeks the regime of Ben Ali was forced to resign. However the new government still contains ministers from the old regime and Tunisians are calling for it to stand aside. During the protests an estimated 78 people have died.
The UGTT trade union has started a 'caravan of protest', setting out from central Tunisia, en route to the capital Tunis. A teacher from the town where the first victim of the security forces died last month told the AFP news agency: " The aim of the caravan is to make the government fall."
Meanwhile a demonstration in Algiers, the capital of Algeria was brutally put down by police yesterday with up to 32 people injured. The demonstrators were calling for political change from ' a regime based on corruption, electoral fraud and repression' according to one demonstrator. Interestingly - as I reported in my last post - the International Monetary Fund and World Bank both praised the Tunisian and Algerian governments in the autumn.
In a press release at the end of November the IMF stated: 'Algeria’s economy has continued to perform well on the back of public expenditure. The prudent macroeconomic policies pursued in the past have helped Algeria to build a sound financial position with very low levels of debt. Macroeconomic performance remains robust in 2010'. Meanwhile on Tunisia, the World Bank states on its website: 'Tunisia has made remarkable progress on equitable growth, fighting poverty and achieving good social indicators.
' Not a judgement with which the people of Tunisia agreed evidently. To read the World Bank's report, dating from September 2010 go to: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/MENAEXT/TUNISIAEXTN/0,,menuPK:310024~pagePK:141132~piPK:141107~theSitePK:310015,00.html