Tunisia’s jobless demand work, dignity
24 May 2012, 17:58
Tunis - About 100 unemployed people with university
degrees demonstrated on Thursday outside Tunisia's Kasbah government
building in Tunis, chanting "work, freedom and dignity".
away from the building by a strong police cordon, the demonstrators also
shouted slogans dating from the Tunisian revolution of early 2011 and
they threatened to hold a sit-in.
"This government has taken no
steps to deal with the problem of providing employment," an official
with the Union of Unemployed Graduates (UDC), Belgacem Ben Abdallah,
told AFP, accusing the authorities of "corruption and nepotism".
Islamist party Ennahda, which has come to power in the north African
country since the ouster of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,
"distributes jobs to its followers", UDC co-ordinator Salem Ayari said.
"The Ben Ali regime fell because of unemployment. But the curse is still there and even worse than before," Ayari added.
UDC has called for the swift and transparent opening of recruitment
exams into public service and for the establishment of unemployment
benefit at a fixed rate.
The government has announced a programme to employ 25 000 in 2012.
unemployment rate is almost 19 percent in Tunisia, compared with 14% in
2010, and university graduates account for 250 000 of the 750 000
job-seekers in the country.
When graduates held a protest on
Bourguiba Avenue, one of the capital's main thoroughfares, on 07 April,
they were violently dispersed by police and several people were injured.
Demonstrations on Bourguiba Avenue were banned at the time.