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Tunisia: prelate fears new protests

Catholic World News - January 19, 2012

A year after “Arab Spring” protests led to the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled Tunisia since 1989, the nation’s leading prelate warns of the prospect of more protests in upcoming months.

“The problem is the economy,” said Archbishop Maroun Elias Laham of Tunis. “From the political point of view things are going well: the elections were conducted properly, we have a new president, a new government, and a new parliament. Security is guaranteed, but the economy has difficulty in getting off the ground.”

“Local public opinion [is raising] doubts about whether the government actually has a business plan for the country,” he added. “People will wait another few months, but if immediately a strong signal on the economic front is not given, a strong social protest is to be expected. The unemployed are more than one million, and the number is growing.”

The nation of 10.6 million is 0.02% Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.

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