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Tunisia, the choices Italian government to tackle the virus: industries closed, and subsidies, but is yet to be determined
the TATAOUINE (Tunisia) - The coffee created by Yosra is closed and closed all the clubs on the Avenue Bourguiba of Tataouine (south of Tunisia). The customers there are, but the rent is 1,200 dinars per month for the time being it remains. For this small business, created with a fund put together by the Italian NGO ARCS with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the next few weeks are likely to be a bad blow, if not to intervene to aid those who are homebound no income.

The project "Terre". Esma has just opened, thanks to the same fund, the boutique traditional clothes: “Yes, I closed – he says – for the good of us all.” But she will have to figure out how to pay for the costs of rental, now. The firm is the small business of weaving Arousia. Work instead, small companies breeding Walid, Safé and Ayman: you are in the countryside, and provide basic necessities. The effects of the black out total decreed by the tunisian government last Sunday, is also being felt on the assets created by the project “LAND” of ARCS. The maison d'hôtes of Selma, which was to inaugurarsi in time for the tourist season, for now it will not open. And the tourist season, to Selma as to all operators in the sector, remains a mirage far away.

do You rely on remittances. The controversy about the consequences of the economic block, are echoed in Tunisia the Italian ones. Close as possible and give support to local families, say unions. Do not block the economy, says the UTICA, the main employers ' organisation. The government for now has chosen a middle way. Several industrial areas are closed and subsidies are planned, but not yet defined. The country, already in debt with international institutions, do not have the resources to cope with everything that you would need. Tunisia counts on receipts of workers ' remittances, tourism and exports, all items that now will be a strong decline. Something will save you on your energy bill, with the decline in consumption and the price of oil. But in the face of this crisis, if Europe has had to suspend its own rules of austerity, even greater flexibility should apply to the countries in the weak economy. For the moment, the Italian Government, to which Tunisia is a priority country for cooperation, he announced a credit assistance of 50 million Euros, to face the emergency.

The army controls who runs for the road. on the road, the control of the prohibitions is afffidato to the army, which, schieratosi against the police of Ben Ali in the 2011 revolution, still enjoys a certain prestige among the population. The supervision is also extended to possible speculation on the prices of the necessities of life. In all of Tunisia to the 23rd of march, the cases were 144, almost all imported by the emigrants to return, the dead three and the people in quarantine, about ten thousand. Few, still, but they all understand that the real data are higher, because there is a system of controls to carpet the government plans to make the 10,000 tampons in the next few days) and every full-blown conceals the other.

The risk of collapse of the health system. it is Certain that the health care system, already deficient from many points of view, will not stand the impact of a massive number of hospitalizations. The number of places available in the intensive care unit are 330: too few for a country of over 11 million inhabitants. Private health care is present with good level, normally only accessible to a small elite, and it is not yet clear if it wishes to play a role in this crisis, outside the logic of profit. In Ben Arous, the Union Nationale de la Femme Tunisienne, partner of ARCS in a project of enterprise creation, has organised a day of distributing bags with disinfectants and hygiene products to families in need, first, to suspend all activities. Here, as elsewhere, at the time, in the absence of drugs and vaccines of proven effectiveness, the best medicine is the solidarity.

* Fabrizio Sciortino, cooperating ARCS

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