France offers 1 billion euros in aid to Tunisia

French president announces 1 billion euro aid to Tunisia where authorities declared nationwide curfew following protests over unemployment, economic conditions

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

French President Francois Hollande welcomes Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid before a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 22, 2016

French President Francois Hollande’s office announced on Friday that France will provide 1 billion euros to Tunisia over the next five years as part of an economic support package.

"A major aspect of the plan aims to help poor regions and young people, putting the focus on employment," said the French presidency following a meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid in Paris.

"Five years after the revolution, Tunisia has succeeded in its democratic transition but remains confronted by major economic, social and security challenges," the statement continued.

The move came as the former French colony declared a nationwide curfew over demonstrations which started on Tuesday in the town of Kasserine after a young man killed himself because he was refused a public sector job.

According to security officials, at least 19 people were arrested during protests in the Tunisian capital Tunis.

Tunisia has been considered an example for democratic progress since the 2011 uprising.

However the high cost of living and the lack of job opportunities have led to discontent all over the country.  

The French presidency also stated that the countries also discussed international terrorism as both countries have faced multiple assaults carried out by DAESH in the recent months.

"Tunisia, like France, is threatened and has been seriously affected by terrorism, because it made a choice for democracy," said Hollande's office.

"The president underlined that France is ready to reinforce its cooperation in the fight against terrorism."

TRTWorld and agencies