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

By Nissaf Slama | Mar 14 2014 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

Image credit: Flickr user Manogamo. (Creative Commons)

Image credit: Flickr user Manogamo. (Creative Commons)

The new draft budget under discussion could increase Tunisian beer prices, according to the Attounissya newspaper and others sources, upsetting Tunisian beer drinkers.

The increase is still uncertain, but complaints from Tunisian beer lovers have already begun.

It's no big deal that I drink. I think 7 out of 10 Tunisians drink. Beer is the only thing that allows me to relax and hang out with friends after a stressful week, said 24-year-old student Houssem Jobbi.

Anxious about the increase, Jobbi questions the decision.

What's their reason for such an increase? If all drinkers boycott beer for one day, the state will go crazy. In fact, that will teach them a lesson. They say the money goes to projects, but I don't see any projects.

Alcohol is a means to escape reality. Many of the people who drink want to reach moments of emotional balance, says Mahmoud Bamia, a 39-year-old coffee shop owner.

Everything is more expensive now. Increasing beer prices is not a solution for the state budget. We need comprehensive reform and certainly to put an end to financial corruption of the state, he said.

For Abdelhak Cherni, a guitarist and student at the High Institute of Multimedia, beer holds a special place in his daily routine.

Drinking is the most enjoyable waste of my money. It's a kind of a marker, it marks the end of the day. Even if if I sometimes have a few while working, it always feels better when you are done with everything and ready to kick back, he said.

Even if the price goes higher, Cherni insists that he “will not stop buying it.

For me, beer is healthy wheat with a bit of unhealthy fun, said Asma, a 23-year-old student. It is the safest thing to have around friends. It is also light and carefree compared to other kinds of alcohol.

It's clear that Tunisians drink a lot, she added. The government knows that and definitely plays it as a card. It's about time to put to rest talk about religion and our non-drinking community, because obviously it's not the case.

The last increase in price of the Tunisian beer brand Celtia occurred last year, as the price per 250 milliliter bottle jumped from 1.100 to 1.370 Tunisian millimes ($0.88).

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    Just look at the crime and antisocial behavoir in the west, alchohol is not a ‘health drink’ just ask any doctor in europe, liver desease used to be a illness only effecting the elderly, usually men, now it is effecting people in their twenties and yonger or both genders.

  1. The government may increase the price of alcohol drinks by adding more taxes in order to compensate the loss occured by the non-increase of road taxes on vehicles but an increase of the price of alcohol drinks will also affect our tourism which is already suffering of the lack of tourists who are willing to spend money in Tunisia. On the other side This increase will be considered by foreigners as an illicit way to ban alcohol drinks in Tunisia and this will probably will cause the death of our tourism.

  2. I don’t think that you can say that any country is free from crime and anti-social behaviour. If Tunisians want to drink alcohol they should be able to do so, in a civilized, non-judgmental environment. A more relaxed atmosphere around the consumption of alcohol should also help prevent binge and secretive drinking. As for tourism, the price of beer in Tunisia is very cheap in comparison to prices in Western and Northern Europe. The unstable political situation and Salafist activity is more likely to be a deterrent.