Tunisians take to the streets for the second week. Violent demonstrations are extremely rare in the North African country where public dissent is not tolerated. But the protesters say they have been pushed to the brink by the high levels of unemployment in Tunisia.

The recent protests have exposed a side of Tunisia that the country has long tried to hide, like poverty in the countryside, unemployment and  the lack of opportunities for the highly educated, but also and a seething resentment at the government of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the country's president, who has ruled Tunisia since 1987.

As the president condemns violence and warns of firm action against any outlaws, he promises to seek solutions to the unemployment crisis increasing in the country.

Are these protests politically motivated or merely social and economic protests against injustices and corruption? Is the state responsible for creating jobs, or directing the education to the right track to produce a needed labour force?

Joining the programme will be Douglas Yates, a professor of political science at the American University of Paris, Lahcen Achy, a resident scholar at the Middle East Center, and Nourelddine Miladi, a senior lecturer in media sociology at the University of Northampton.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Thursday, December 30, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera