The governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Marwan Abbasi, said on Sunday that his country expects to reach an agreement in the coming weeks with the International Monetary Fund for a loan ranging from $2 billion to $4 billion over three years. Abbasi added in statements to Reuters that the value of the loan is still under negotiation, and that it is likely to range from $2 billion to $4 billion, hoping that experts will reach an agreement in the coming weeks.
The Tunisian government and the General Union of Tunisian Workers, the main labor union in the country, signed an agreement last week to increase public sector salaries by 5%, in a move that may ease social tensions.
However, they did not announce any other agreement regarding the required economic reforms to obtain a financial rescue package from the International Monetary Fund.
Al-Abassi said that the wage agreement is an important step in the negotiations with the fund, adding that it “will provide a clear view of the wage bill expected to decrease in the coming years.”
Fitch Ratings agency stated on Friday that the wage agreement in Tunisia increases the likelihood of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Marwan Abbasi, also indicated that the potential agreement would open the doors to dual financing, including with Japan and Gulf countries.
And he added, “We have advanced talks with Saudi Arabia.”
The IMF has stated that it will not move forward with the rescue plan sought by Tunisia unless it is approved by the General Union of Tunisian Workers, which claims to have more than a million members.
Tunisia is struggling to revive its public finances amid growing frustration with inflation, which has reached nearly 9 percent, in addition to shortages of many food items in stores due to the country’s inability to afford the costs of some imports.