April 14, 2024

About 200 Tunisian bakers took half in a sit-in on Monday to denounce a call by the state depriving these artisans of backed flour and threatening the very existence of 1,500 companies.

Indispensable within the conventional Tunisian weight-reduction plan, bread is a delicate topic within the land of jasmine. Right here he’s in disaster: some 200 Tunisian bakers and pastry cooks took half in a primary sit-in on Monday August seventh. The primary act in a collection of mobilizations to denounce a call by the State depriving these artisans of backed flour and threatening the very existence of 1,500 companies.

After statements by President Kaïs Saïed just lately denouncing hypothesis on backed flour, the Ministry of Commerce on August 1 banned 1,500 so-called “fashionable” bakeries, using 18,000 staff, from shopping for it.

Shortly after the 2011 revolution in Tunisia, these bakeries, free commerce retailers, have been allowed to often purchase sure quotas of backed flour.

“We’re doing a sit-in as a result of we’re forbidden to hold out our peculiar exercise which is the manufacturing of baguettes”, denounced to AFP Mohamed Jamali, president of the Group of contemporary bakeries who introduced different sit-ins. within the coming weeks.

“These individuals haven’t been in enterprise for per week,” he added, surrounded by demonstrators with placards saying: “bread, freedom, nationwide dignity”, “hundreds of staff might be dismissed”.

“We discover ourselves with out revenue, 1,500 bakeries are closed, which make use of 6 to 7 employees every”, added Abdelbeki Abdellawi, 43, apprehensive that craftsmen may find yourself in “jail” for failing to pay their rents and credit.

Alongside the backed baguette, as loss chief, “fashionable bakeries” provide different varieties of bread and pastries, partly constructed from backed flour, which permits them to cost average costs.

However in latest months, the official and separate community of three,737 bakeries promoting the backed baguette at 190 millimes (0.06 euro cents, a ridiculous value unchanged since 1984) has run out of flour, and queues are forming at daybreak. in entrance of the doorways of those “scorching spots”.

“Bread for the wealthy”?

Fearing widespread anger, President Kaïs Saïed denounced on July 27 the usage of backed flour by “unclassified” (unsubsidized) bakeries.

“It’s over immediately for many who wish to promote unclassified bread. Measures should be taken to supply bread to all Tunisians,” he stated in a video.

Nevertheless, in keeping with varied economists consulted by AFP, this “bread disaster” is definitely linked to an inadequate provide of the market in flour backed by the State.

In an economic system constructed on low wages (the minimal wage is 480 dinars, or 140 euros), the State has been centralizing purchases of primary merchandise because the Seventies with a purpose to reinject them into the market at low costs.

Extremely indebted (80% of GDP), it’s nevertheless in need of money and suppliers wish to be paid prematurely, which forces it to unfold out its provides, in keeping with specialists.

“It’s the state that has not purchased sufficient cereals, so there may be not sufficient flour, and subsequently bread, due to a public finance disaster that it doesn’t admit” , Economist Ezzedine Saidane instructed AFP.

In his video, President Saïed spoke of “a bread for the wealthy” which might be offered by fashionable bakeries and “a bread for the poor”.

“It’s not by imposing a single value for bread that the issue might be solved”, continued Mr. Saidane, criticizing “communist reasoning”.

The topic is delicate in Tunisia the place bread riots – after a doubling of the worth in a single day – had killed greater than 150 individuals in 1983-1984.

A younger baker, Hanène Bouguerra, whose craft enterprise employs round 30 individuals, attacked the pinnacle of state on Fb, denouncing “hate speech that pits Tunisians in opposition to one another” and “a poor understanding of the state of affairs”.

“We’re not wealthy,” she stated to Kaïs Saïed, stressing that she was an unemployed larger schooling graduate, who created her personal enterprise with family members and takes little or no relaxation. .

“You speak about wealthy and poor, to divide us and starve us! I’m able to go to jail defending my rights,” she added.

With AFP