Tunisian president cuts own pay by two-thirds

Moncef Marzouki says the state has to be a model to deal with the country's deteriorating financial situation.

    Media outlets have criticised the president for perceived excess at a time when poverty is prevalent in the country [AP]
    Media outlets have criticised the president for perceived excess at a time when poverty is prevalent in the country [AP]

    Tunisia's President Moncef Marzouki has said that he will take a two-thirds pay cut as the government grapples with a financial situation it has described as "critical."

    In a statement on Friday, Marzouki said he would cut his wages because Tunisia was facing "a financial and economic crisis".

    The Tunisian economy has suffered from the instability that followed the 2011 revolution, which toppled long-time autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and ignited the Arab Spring.

    Presidential spokesman Adnane Mansar had said that Marzouki earned a gross monthly wage of 30,000 Tunisian dinars (around $19,000), according to the AFP news agency.

    Marzouki, who has been head of state since late 2011, also said he had ordered further reductions in the expenses of the presidency.

    Some Tunisian media outlets have criticised the perceived excesses of the presidency, with much of the country still threatened by social conflict fuelled by poverty and high unemployment.

    On Friday, the World Bank approved a $100 million loan to help small and medium sized businesses, seen as crucial to the economic recovery of Tunisia's private sector.

    It said there are 624,000 such businesses in Tunisia, employing around 1.2 million people, who make up an estimated 44 percent of the workforce in the formal private sector.

    The government said last week that the country's public finances were in such a critical state that it had resorted to "exceptional measures" to ensure that April wages were paid.

    In January, the International Monetary Fund released more than $500 million, part of a $1.76 billion loan to support Tunisia, shortly after a new technocratic government was sworn in under a deal to end months of political instability.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.