Saturday, January 01, 2011

Tunisia: IMF 'Economic Medicine' has Resulted in Mass Poverty and Unemployment

Mass and spontaneous demonstrations erupted on Friday, December 17th in the city of Sidi Bouzid (central Tunisia) when Mohammad Bouazizi , a 26 year-old, doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire after a female police officer slapped and spat on him. The only crime Bouazizi committed was that of being a street vendor selling vegetables and fruits without a permit, in a country where neoliberal economic policies failed to provide economic opportunities to Bouazizi and thousands of others like him. Bouazizi’ s attempted suicide, which comes hard on the heels of police humiliation and confiscation of his only source of income, reveals the utter despair prevalent today among Tunisia’s population especially college graduates.

Twenty-four years of ruthless corruptions, dictatorship, and neoliberal economic policies led to wealth being concentrated in the hands of very few people connected to President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his wife’s family. Bouazizi, a college graduate, was trying to live in dignity and provide for his family by becoming a street vendor despite living in a country that is considered an economic miracle and one of the African lions by western economic monitors and analysts.'


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