The office of Tunisia’s president issued a directive to fire the central bank governor, Maustapha Kamel Nabli, while a bank spokesman said the bank wasn’t aware of the move.
“The president has taken, in agreement with the prime minister, the decision to end the mission of the central bank governor,” presidential spokesman Adnan Mnassar said.
“The current stage requires new competencies to improve the economic situation,” he said, adding that Tunisia’s constituent assembly must approve the decision.
The economy in Tunisia, the birthplace of the so-called Arab Spring, grew by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year. Growth is forecast at 3.5 percent this year as industries including tourism recover, Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali said on June 5. The government has struggled to revive the economy, which in 2011 shrank by 1.8 percent, in the wake the country’s revolt that sparked similar uprisings across the region.
“We don’t know anything about this decision,” central bank spokesman Zied Mouhli said Wednesday, referring to the announcement from the presidency.
Nabli has said he was seeking more independence for the bank on monetary policy.
“Mr. Nabli is one of the most competent bankers in the region and has already made dramatic changes to the Tunisian central bank and its independence,” Hakim Azaiez, head of Middle East and North African capital markets at Dinosaur Capital Management, said by email Wednesday. “There are question marks on the timing of this decision.”