22 March 2012 3:58 pm | | 4


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Phosphate mines in the impoverished city of Metlaoui, Southwest Tunisia

Yesterday, educated unemployed youth demonstrated across the country in front of the regional bureaus and head offices for employment.

According to Salam Ayari, the national coordinator of the Union for Unemployed Graduates (UDC), this protest was called for by the National Commission of Unions. The Union for Unemployed Graduates (UDC) chose to answer the call.

In 2010, the unemployment rate among educated youth in Tunisia reached 23% – up from 15% in 2005. Unemployment is particularly bad in the inner regions of the country. On average, the unemployment rate in the poor inner regions of Jendouba, Kef, Kasserine and Gafsa totters above 22,6%.

Salam Ayari explained to TAP that from the beginning, the Union for Unemployed Graduates (UDC) has positioned itself against the Amal subvention, which allocates 200 dinars per month to unemployed graduates. This subvention was created after the revolution, and according to Ayari, 600 million dinars have been spent on this program since its implementation.

Instead, the Union for Unemployed Graduates (UDC) is calling for this money to be spent on job creation, and on the creation of a National Fund for Unemployment for “those who deserve it or those who need it.” The Union is further calling for assistance to young entrepreneurs for their projects, the boosting of the private sector and the redefinition of recruitment procedures for public sector jobs, amongst other things.

Graph: Evolution of the unemployment rate among university graduates

 Source: Institut National de la Statistique

The Union is concerned that there has been no progress in terms of unemployment issues, and that the current government is failing to take effective action.

Should their demands go unanswered, Salam Ayari warned that the Union for Unemployed Graduates (UDC) would resort to further demonstrations, and would take to the streets of the capital on April 7.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Greta says:

    I agree with Kusaila and Najwa, there is a widespread feeling that in order to have a job someone has to get it for you, and its not you getting it for yourself. Also, that once you get a job all you have to do to justify your salary is turn up on time and leave on time. Why do you think people employ so many older people, because they know the value of a job and will do everything to keep it.

  2. Najwa Merchawi says:

    I am tired of people ( in Tunisia as well as in US ) demanding that their government create jobs for them. Jobs are created when there is a need to provide a missing good/service. The government is not going to hire you to dig holes all day and then fill them back up again the next day, and pay you with paper money, fresh of the print press, just so that you can have a job!! Look around you and see what service / good you can provide to people who will pay for it, then create your a job. All the government needs to do, if anything, is give any required permits, and maybe help with finances.

    • soloway says:

      you are correct the government can solve every problem. However they must create the appropriatte conditions. However the whinging and whining of some elements is as you indicate unfair. Peoples expectations have been raised so I guess it is inevitable. What worries me more is that some of it is politically motivated by remenants of the last regime and secular fundamentalists. They don’t care about jobs or any of the issues. In fact they want things to go badly and they resent the majority choosing its leaders at all.

      • Kusaila says:

        the misguided Tunisian mentality of job entitlement transcends political affiliations and to suggest that this a left wing conspiracy is a little ludicrous.

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