Tunisian PM wants new relations between Tunisia and France to be invented
“We have to invent new relations between Tunisia and France,” Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on the eve of his official visit to France (November 9 and 10), the first to a European country since he took office as PM. The political commitment of France to Tunisia “needs to be taken to a higher level.” Being “the exception in the Arab Spring, the challenge now is a successful transition to a new model,” he stressed in an interview with French newspaper “Le Monde” on Tuesday. Youssef Chahed said Tunisia defends the same universal values of democracy and human rights on which Europe is built and therefore “we have to be a strategic partner with a strong commitment from the international community.” Asked about his decision to postpone salary increases in the public service and to impose new taxes on liberal professions, the Prime Minister said Tunisia is facing “a difficult economic situation (requiring) tightening a bit the belt”. “We need everyone to be involved in these sacrifices to rescue the public finances,” he said.