Monday, December 4, 2023
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Food, fuel shortages hit Tunisian stores

TUNISIA (Reuters) – Some Tunisian stores are rationing goods including cooking oil, sugar and butter, while there are long queues at gas stations as the government grapples with a looming public finances crisis.

Some grocers restricted customers from buying single packs of items in short supply, while queues outside petrol stations hindered traffic in parts of the capital.

President Keith Saeed and his government did not comment on the shortages, only announcing their intention to target commodity speculators and hoarders and saying they would restructure Tunisian oil companies.

The government sells many imported goods at high subsidy rates, and the global commodity crunch pushes up international prices.

This summer, the government received two tranches of international aid from the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to finance food purchases, but is also seeking an IMF bailout to fund the budget and repay loan.

“Without oil, sugar or butter, there is a severe shortage of biscuits and snacks,” said Azuzzi, a shopkeeper in the working-class Eta Damon district of Tunisia.

Khadija, a woman shopping in the same area, said she could not find any subsidized cooking oil and could not afford other brands of cooking oil. “It’s getting tougher day by day and we don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Even early on Friday morning, there was a long queue at a gas station in the La Massa district of Tunisia, including cars lining up along the highway’s dedicated lane.

Silwan al-Samiri, an official in the gasoline workers’ division of the UGTT union, told IFM radio on Thursday that the government needs to reach a solution for imports.

Since taking most of power in July, President Syed has shown little about his preferred economic policies 2021 Apart from public statements criticizing corruption and criticizing corruption , which his enemies called a coup. speculators.



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