Tunisia anti-austerity protests: share your thoughts and reaction

Tunisia: Protests against Rising Prices, Tax Increases Sweep Streets

Tunisian police detain dozens after clashes

At least one person has died since Sunday, when protests against an unpopular new Finance Act, which saw price hikes and Value-Added Tax increases imposed from January 1, first broke out in the capital, Tunis, and across the country, CNN reported.

More than 200 people were arrested and dozens injured in clashes in several regions of Tunisia, the interior ministry said after a second night of protests against austerity measures by the authorities.

Violent anti-government protests have raged in other towns in the North African country since Monday, among them the tourist resort of Sousse, against price and tax rises imposed by government to cut a ballooning deficit and satisfy worldwide lenders.

Demonstrations began last week over the government's budget, which includes higher taxes and spending cuts.

Six years since the 2011 uprising that overthrew Ben Ali, Tunisia has been held as a model for avoiding the violence that has affected other nations after their Arab Spring revolts.

Prime Minister of Tunisia Youssef Chahed paid a surprise visit to al-Battan, a town in Manouba province in Tunisia, on January 10 after protests and attacks on state security offices.

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior confirmed in a statement on Monday evening that a 55-year-old man had died in a local hospital after being admitted with symptoms of dizziness.

Opposition parties, led by the Popular Front, have tried to refute the charge of leading night protests, stressing that it had only called for a peaceful protest against the 2018 finance law.

One protester was killed on Monday, but police said they were not responsible. Security forces had already dispersed small protests in Tunis late on Sunday.

Tunisian security forces detain a protester in the Ettadhamen.

"People have to understand that the situation is extraordinary and their country has difficulties but we believe that 2018 will be the last hard year for the Tunisians", Chahed told reporters in comments broadcast on local radio.

Chahed promised that despite the difficulties in the economic plan, this would be a better year for Tunisians. The Tunisian government allows the demonstrations to release steam, while at the same time trying to promote reforms to improve the economy.

The disorder comes amid anger at rising food price and economic restraints imposed by the government in exchange for a £2billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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