Tunisia’s president sacks the economy minister

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Tuesday ended the duties of Tunisian Minister of Economy and Planning Samir Saied, according to a statement issued by the presidency.

Samir Saied was dismissed after fresh statements that a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be vital for obtaining other foreign financing.

The president strongly opposes what he described as the dictates of the IMF, saying that the IMF is “not sacred” and its conditions will lead to protests.

In a brief statement published on its official website, the presidency said that the head of state “has decided to terminate the duties of the minister of economy and planning, Samir Saied”.

The Minister of Finance, Sihem Boughdiri, has been given the task of “temporarily” taking over his duties, the statement added, without giving any further details.

The move comes as the country is going through an unprecedented economic and financial crisis.

Inflation reached 9.3 percent in August and growth in the second quarter did not exceed 0.6 percent, according to official figures.

With a debt equivalent to around 80 percent of its GDP, Tunisia is engaged in long negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to obtain a new loan of $2 billion to cover its budget deficit.

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