Algeria lends $ 300 million to Tunisia

A general view shows an empty street in Sidi Bou Said, an attractive tourist destination, amid a coronavirus lockdown, Tunis, Tunisia, April 1, 2020 (Reuters)

Tunisia announced on Tuesday that it had received a loan from Algeria, the day before a visit by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The official newspaper indicated that President Kais Saied had signed an agreement reached on December 9 for “a loan of 300 million dollars”, or about 266 million euros.

Tunisia’s public finances have been challenged by a decade of political instability, low investment and structural problems, with debts approaching 100 percent of GDP and unemployment at 18 percent.

The Tunisian economy has grown only 0.6% per year since its revolution in 2011, while inflation has climbed 6% per year.

An unwelcoming business environment discouraged investors.

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation in this North African country, cutting jobs in the vital tourism sector, high commodity prices have hurt reserves and a drought has hit farmers, the ‘AFP.

Tunis has received economic aid from the European Union and is requesting its fourth aid program in 10 years from the International Monetary Fund, aimed at obtaining a loan of nearly $ 4 billion before the end of the year.