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TUNIS, Sept 14, 2018 (News Wires) - Tunisia will impose no new taxes on individuals and firms under the 2019 budget but will continue to reform a costly subsidies system, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Friday.

The country has struggled to fulfill donors' demands to reform its economy and cut its budget deficit amid turmoil since the ousting of president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Unwilling to cut a bloated public service due to resistance from labour unions, the government has raised taxes several times, prompting riots for weeks in January.

"To boost growth and to make companies more competitive we will not impose new taxes on companies or individuals," Chahed said in a speech. But he added that the government would continue to overhaul the subsidies system which is straining public finances.

Tunisia raised fuel prices this month by about 4 percent, the fourth increase this year.

The cost of fuel subsidies this year will rise from an expected 1.5 billion dinars ($542 million) to 4.3 billion dinars due to the rise in world oil prices, officials have said.

The IMF has been pressing Tunisia to trim its budget deficit and increase fuel and electricity bills.

Chahed, who is fighting for survival as some in his Nidaa Tounes party and labour unions have tried to oust him, vowed to go ahead with unpopular decisions.


TUNIS, August 23, 2018 (News Wires) - Tunisia’s coast guard said it recovered the bodies of five migrants on Thursday whose boat sank as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Crews were now searching for another five Tunisians that relatives had said were also on the boat that set off this week from the southern coastal community of Zarzis, the coast guard added.

Human traffickers are increasingly using Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as the Libyan coast guard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.

Many Tunisian migrants say they are fleeing high unemployment and inflation - part of an economic crisis that hit after the toppling of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

At least 80 migrants died when their boat sank off the Tunisian coast in June, one of the worst migrant boat accidents in the North African country in recent years.

CAIRO, August 15, 2018 (MENA) - Al Ahly team left Cairo on Wednesday heading for the Tunisian city of Radès to play a match with Espérance Sportive de Tunis (EST).

The match comes as part of the CAF Champions League.

The Red Devils will face Espérance Sportive de Tunis on Friday, August 17. If they win   the Reds would secure a place for themselves in the quarter-finals.

Al Ahly are currently second in group A with seven points, three behind Tunisian side Espérance, while Township Rollers, and Kampala City sit third and fourth with three points.

CAIRO, Aug 12, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said Egypt is seeking to up Tunisian investments, which hit $802 million in 2018, pressing the need for furthering joint investments through establishing a coordination council for the purpose.

The minister's remarks were made during a meeting of the follow-up committee of the Higher Egyptian-Tunisian Committee in the presence of Tunisian Trade Minister Omar al Bahi, Minister of Industry and Trade Amr Nassar, Chief Executive Officer of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohsen Adel and senior officials of her ministry.

The meeting comes within the context of preparations for holding a meeting of the joint higher committee co-chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and his Tunisian counterpart Youssef Chahed by the end of the year. 

Nasr said the coordination council will help create joint investment opportunities especially in the sectors of excavation, exploration, real estate, tourism and financial services.

She also pressed the need for buttressing joint relations by taking a set of decisions that would remove any impediments standing in the way of achieving such a target.

The minister also greeted the Tunisian side over joining The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and invited the Tunisian trade minister to take part in the annual African Forum (Africa 2018) to be held in December in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The Tunisian minister, for his part, asserted his country's keenness on promoting economic relations with Egypt as well as encouraging Tunisian businessmen to have investments in the Egyptian market. 

He said the meeting provides a good chance for reviewing the achievements made by the Higher Egyptian-Tunisian Committee, calling for exerting the effort to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed on organising a joint investment week to motivate both countries' businessmen to exchange information on available investment opportunities and recent amendments to ease the establishment of investment projects.

The follow-up committee recommended activating the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, fishing, electricity, renewable energy, gas, communication, tourism, information technology and culture.

CAIRO, July 8, 2018 (MENA) – Al Azhar has condemned a terrorist attack that targeted a Tunisian national guard patrol on Sunday, killing and injuring a number of policemen.

Such terror acts contradict all religions and human norms, Al Azhar said in statement, calling on the international community to unite efforts to eliminate terrorist groups.

Al Azhar expressed its sincere condolences to the Tunisian president, government and the victims' families as well, the statement added.

CAIRO, July 8, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that occurred in Jendouba province in the northwest of Tunisia, which left six Tunisian security troops dead.

In a statement Sunday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry condoled with the Tunisian government and people for the death of the victims.

In addition, the statement stressed Egypt's support for Tunisia in the face of terrorism and all forms of violence and extremism.

The statement reiterated Egypt's call for the international community to play its role in confronting and uprooting this phenomenon through draining financial supplies to terrorist groups and preventing countries sponsoring terrorism from providing a safe haven and training for terrorist elements.

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