Ben Salim (c) claims to have debts of $150,000
Tunis - Azhar Jarboui
The Tunisian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Muncif Ben Salim has told Arabstoday that he did not receive $400,000 dollars in compensation for "years of suffering" and isolation during the rule of the former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
He also announced that the country's entire educational curriculum will be reviewed; pointing out that from the beginning of the next academic year, gaining PhDs will no longer require having a Masters degree.
In response to accusations related to his appointment as a professor at the University of Tunis in 1987, Ben Salim explained that he filed out a lawsuit in 2002 against Ben Ali for preventing him from teaching at the institution, based on his opposition of the regime and membership of the Islamic Movement.
Ben Salim added that it was former minister Rifaat Chaabouni who decided to appoint him as a professor at the Higher Institute of Engineering Studies in Sfax on 18 November 2011, denying that he had issued the decision himself, as was reported by the media.
Moreover, the Tunisian minister confirmed that he "did not receive $400,000" through his promotion at the university, and said that preventing him from doing his job for more than 20 years has increased his debts to $150,000, which he is still paying.
Ben Salim also confirmed that he does not enjoy special ministerial privileges.