Tunisian finance minister
Tunis – Nabil Zaghdoud
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has assigned Selim Besbas, the Tunisian Secretary of State to temporarily run the country’s finances, after he received the resignation of Hussein Aldimasi, the country’s Finance Minister. According to an official government statement, Jebali asked Besbas to take on the role until he can find a suitable replacement for Jebali.
Jebali handed in his resignation in protest the draft law which stipulates that political prisoners detained under the former regime would be entitled to compensation. There are more than 20 thousand prisoners and the compensation could cost the government $464 million. The Tunisian government said the law will be considered at the next meeting of the Ministers Council.
Before resigning Aldimasi had expressed a conservative position on the results of social negotiations and the adopted wage policy to be consulted between the government and social partners, particularly regarding the distribution of wage increases between 2012 to 2013.
Hussein Aldimasi, former Minister of Finance in the Tunisian government led by the Islamic Movement Ennahda, announced his resignation on Friday. He justified his decision in a press statement the reasons for his resignation: "While I was clinging to the public safety of finances, most of the members of the government pushed towards one political approach resulted in a sudden and fatal increase in the expenses of the state compared to its resources," he said
Hussein Aldimasi said the draft law on political prisoner compensation could open to doors to a flood of claims, warning that the initiative could also introduce additional expenses on public finances owing to the large number of beneficiaries and size of the expected compensation.
Aldimasi also stressed that the enactment of the law would completely ignore the difficult economic and financial conditions which are expected to hit the country over the next few years.