Tunisian President Kais Saied says he won't succumb to IMF pressure in order to get a 2$ billion loan. Photo: AA

Tunisian President Kais Saied has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to review its lending terms and conditions before Tunisia can accept credit from it.

Tunisia is seeking a bailout package worth nearly $2 billion from the IMF.

Despite an agreement in principle on the loan, which was brokered in October 2022, talks with the IMF have stalled for months over Saied not committing to restructure public bodies and lift subsidies on basic goods.

Speaking at Carthage in the capital Tunis on Sunday, Saied stated that “solutions can never be presented in the form of diktats”.

He added that: “Conventional solutions will only worsen the social crisis and have a negative impact on the situation in Tunisia and the region as a whole. The IMF must review its proposals and then a solution can be reached.”

The president made the remarks in the presence of visiting dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni, her Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, and the European Commission President Ursula Van Der Leyen.

President Saied said he won’t allow his country to fall deeper into debts as a result of the unfavourable IMF conditions.

“If Tunisia is currently going through a difficult financial, economic and social situation, it is because Tunisians have long been the victims of the repercussions of past domestic and foreign policies,” he said.

"The Tunisian people, who had revolted at the end of 2010 against despotism and corruption, would not abandon their demands for freedom, nor their legitimate right to employment and national dignity.”

The IMF has called for legislation to restructure more than 100 state-owned firms, which hold monopolies over many parts of the economy and in many cases are heavily indebted.

TRT Afrika