ER Editor: The article below is machine-translated from Italian. First, some tweets:
IMF says it’s pausing its negotiations with Tunisia following Kais Said’s political remarks. Italy pressuring the IMF to disburse the $1.9 billion funding to Tunisia out of fear over instability and growing migration. IMF decides to resume negotiations. Lovely. https://t.co/q2DckXOkZQ
— Hussein Cheaito | حسين شعيتو 🏳️🌈 (@husseinch96) April 11, 2023
“The #InternationalMonetaryFund said engagement continues with #Tunisia over a $1.9 billion rescue package, even after President Kais Saied vowed to reject any deal involving spending cuts.” https://t.co/Ts9ytA6WHt
— Gordon Gray (@AmbGordonGray) April 11, 2023
See this Middle East Eye article from 2021, when the Tunisian president was under pandemic pressure to turn to the IMF for loans —
Tunisia resumes talks with IMF on rescue package
Remember when Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko blew the whistle on the IMF giving tranches of money to countries willing to lock down their citizens during the plandemic?
World Bank/IMF Exposed: COVID Aid Conditional On Imposing Extreme Lockdowns, Curfews
TUNISIA DISMISSES THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
GIULIA BURGAZZI for VISIONETV
Tunisia has sent the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “bailout” to hell and plans to join the BRICS.
The North African state is going through a serious economic crisis and would have received 1.9 billion dollars from the IMF in exchange for the usual neoliberal reforms that further impoverish those who are already poor.
But President Kais Saied on April 6, 2023 expressed the refusal in decidedly clear words: Tunisia is not for sale, no to foreign interference, etc. Reuters writes that, according to the rating agencies, without IMF money, Tunisia risks default, ie. insolvency. Reuters does not explain how Tunisia now plans to get away with it: as if there were no alternative to the IMF and its rules.
TUNISIA WANTS TO JOIN THE BRICS
But you can try to guess it. The main clue is that Tunisia intends to join the BRICS, the intergovernmental organization formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa: in recent months there has been a line-up to enter. The BRICS are impervious to the sanctions that the West has instituted against Russia. They are in fact the multipolar alternative to the G7 (United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada; plus the European Union) and the dollar , i.e. to a globalization dominated by the United States.
As a result, Tunisia is likely thinking of solving its problems by relying on the so-called Brics bank – in reality the New Development Bank – of which Dilma Rousseff has just become president. She was twice president of Brazil and in this capacity, says the note in which the bank announces her appointment, she fought against poverty and in favor of multilateralism.
In essence, Tunisia’s no to the IMF is a no to the West. Who ever, just a couple of years ago, would have imagined that such a small and poor country could have pronounced it? The point, however, is that the West seems to be heading towards an economic sunset, while the BRICS are growing overall. Purchasing power parity, in 1982 the G7 accounted for 50.42% of world GDP; in 2022, 30.39%. Symmetrically, in 1982 the BRICS represented 10.66% of world GDP; in 2022, 31.59%.
THE NO TO THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Tunisia had reached an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund in autumn 2022, which President Kais Saied has now rejected. It involved a loan of $1.9 billion. And in return? Tax increases, wage cuts, elimination of public subsidies, structural reforms to encourage economic competition and attract foreign investors. The usual kiss of death, in short.
Now it may be that the International Monetary Fund lowers its requests a little: perhaps not to save Tunisia, but at least to save those who lent it money. In fact, it has made it known that the matter of the loan is not closed.
Even a “discount” on the claims of the IMF would be a defeat and a sign of weakness of the IMF itself. At the moment, however, there are no signs of appreciation from Tunisia in this regard.
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