16 January 2013 6:45 pm | | 0

Share     Share       Share     Share  

Local businesses in El Kef city were mostly closed during today’s general strike (Photo credit: UGTT’s Facebook page)

Clashes between police and protesters occurred today in the northwestern governorate of El Kef following a general strike that shut down most commercial activity in the region, confirmed Khaled Tarrouche, spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, to Tunisia Live.

“Groups of people attacked today the police station of the governorate and threw stones at police men, which obliged them to resort to tear gas to disperse them and protect themselves,” said the spokesperson.

While everyone has the right to peacefully demonstrate, violence will not be tolerated, he emphasized.

Today’s general strike was organized by the local branch of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) and comes at a time when the city’s local economy is under stress.

“The strike was successful with many local inhabitants supporting our initiative and joining our protest,” said Ibrahim Guesmi,  secretary general of the regional UGTT in El Kef, to Tunisia Live.

Olfa Touati, a local civil society activist and member of the Development Organization of El Kef, confirmed that most locals participated in the general strike and that shops across the region were closed.

According to Guesmi, the executive body of the UGTT’s regional subsidiary decided to organize today’s general strike to put pressure on the government, which it accuses of procrastinating in the undertaking of local regional development projects.

“We signed an agreement on June 3, 2012 with the government… We agreed with the prime minister to add the Sraoutane phosphate project, which would employ up to 6,000 employees, to the state budget allocated to El Kef region,” said Guesmi.

He added that both parties agreed as well to hold working sessions for the realization of projects proposed by the labor union.

“The projects were supposed to be launched during the fall of 2012, yet until now nothing has happened. El Kef is still suffering from economic isolation and unemployment problems. Nobody answers our calls,” said Guesmi.

Amel Amri, a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) representative from El Kef, told Tunisia Live that she understands the local economic situation and the grievances of the region’s inhabitants.

“It is their right to protest and organize a general strike, yet I do not agree with the way they made known their demands,” said Amri of the unrest experienced today in El Kef.

She asserted that the government is not neglecting the region.

“There are 10 projects under construction, yet it is the laws that are disrupting progress,” she said. “Instead of organizing general strikes, people should follow the procedures by going to the ministries, which are taking charge of the development files in El Kef.”

Jameleddine Gharbi, the minister of regional development and planning, declared to Tunisian radio Mosaique FM today that 58 development projects have been carried out in El Kef and 136 are in progress of being completed.

He added that 34 more development projects still linger for several reasons such as the lack of competent staff or poor administration. Among these projects are a cultural complex, a center for the education and rehabilitation of disabled persons, a national road, and a project to improve access to potable water in the local town of Djerissa.

Share     Share       Share     Share  

  From the same category


Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali Assets to Tunisia

Economy to ‘Remain Tough,’ 2015 to Be Worse, Says Government

Tunisia Pitches Development Projects to Arab Funders

Private Airline to Start Flights to New York


Ben Ali Family’s Corrupt Grasp on Tunisian Economy Detailed in New Report

New 5 Dinar Bill Replaces Last Ben Ali Banknote

African Development Bank Maintains $2.1 Billion in Support for Tunisia

Despite Possible Price Increase, Beer Drinkers Say They Will Keep Drinking


Elimination of Cement Subsidies Could Raise Construction Costs

Union and Government Discuss Potential Minimum Wage Increase

Protesting Police Officers Block Traffic at Major Tunis Roundabout

Bahrain Bank Funding New Three Billion Dollar Investment Center in Tunisia

Leave Feedback

  Follow us

Connect on YouTube Connect on Google+ Connect to itunes Subscribe via RSS Feed

  Latest Videos

Play Video

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, the northernmost city in Africa, hosted the fourth round of the...

Play Video

Endangered Whale Brought Ashore in Tunis Suburb

Onlookers in the popular tourist spot of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis,...

Play Video

'Kima Enti:' Mixing Tunisian Traditions With Modern Design

"Kima Enti" is a hand-made art and design project launched by independent...

Play Video

One-Year Anniversary of Chokri Belaid's Death

On February 6, 2014, family and supporters of slain Tunisian politician Chokri...

Play Video

Klay BBJ explains his arrest

Tunisia Live's Nissaf Slama interviews rapper Klay BBJ on his music, arrest,...

Tabbed Structure - Regular
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future...
Switzerland to Return $40 Million in Ben Ali...
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral...
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution...
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for...
New Areas Around Chaambi Declared Military Zones...
Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis...
NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral Law...
Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte...
Unemployed Tunisians Risk Their Lives to Build Future in Europe...
Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for Ben Ali Officials...
Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution Killings Case...
UGTT Union Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize...
Tunisia Returns Stolen Ancient Artifact to Algeria...