The losses incurred by the Tunisian economy during the "Jasmine Revolution" are estimated at TD5 billion (US$3.52 billion), equivalent to 4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). This was disclosed Tuesday by Tunisia's Minister of Regional Development and Local Communities, Ahmed Chebbi.
Chebbi was quoted as saying: "preliminary estimate of losses is put at TD3 billion (US$2.11 billion), but there are medium and long term effects. We can estimate the total amount at TD5 billion, equivalent to almost 4 percent of the gross domestic product."
The minister added: "Tunisia is a very open country in term of its economy. About 1 million Tunisians, thus nearly half the population, make a living from foreign exchanges earned in the tourism as well as industry sectors." Note that the Tunisian tourism sector is responsible for 6.5 percent of GDP, and employs more than 350 thousand people out of about 10 million people.
Chebbi stressed that "Tunisia has maintained the confidence of its foreign partners", and "Tunisia will pay for the loans it was borrowing." He stated: "We have a payment of 450 million euro due in April. Tunisia will pay this amount. We did not ask to re-schedule our loans, and we have no reason to think about it."