February 17, 2013

For the Benefit of the Tunisian People


For the Benefit of the Tunisian People (II)
 
2013/02/12
TUNIS/BERLIN
 
(Own report) - In light of massive protests against the Islamist dominated government in Tunisia, Berlin is pushing for a peaceful settlement and is trying to salvage its "transformation partnership" with Tunis, for which it has allocated 60 million Euros. Within the framework of this "transformation partnership," the Tunisian government has agreed to a number of deals providing new market shares for German businesses in that country. Tunisian workers should also be employed in the vacancies in Germany, which, due to miserable salaries, cannot otherwise be filled. The Tunisian government has also committed itself to giving greater consideration to German business interests, to being more attentive to thwarting the passage of migrants and cooperating with German repressive administrations. Berlin describes these measures as selfless aid to a North African country in a process of transformation. But in fact, they are aimed at strengthening German influence - in an alliance with the government in Tunis, whose Islamist orientation the masses are protesting against.
 
For the Benefit of the Tunisian People (I)
 
2013/02/11
TUNIS/BERLIN
 
(Own report) - The Tunisian government crisis is putting into jeopardy Berlin's current efforts to strengthen its position in North Africa. The German government has recently been trying to enhance its influence in some of the Arab countries by cooperating with Islamist forces, the Muslim Brotherhood circles in Egypt, and the Ennahda government in Tunisia. The aim is to guarantee "stability" in the aftermath of the overthrow of Mubarak and Ben Ali, through a transition to a new political system based on conservative Islamist social structures. German businesses are very interested in this "stability," for example in Tunisia, which, as a low wage location, is popular with German companies. Turkey serves as a model. Its ruling Islamist AKP party is strengthening Islamist structures, which, for example, can help to prevent strikes and other forms of on-the-job protests. By cooperating with Islamists, Berlin accepts the risk of enhancing the prestige of radical forces among them. According to experts, this is the case in Tunisia. The country's liberal and left wing milieus are resolutely protesting.
 

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