The Latest: France offers 1 billion euros to Tunisia

AP News
Posted: Jan 22, 2016 9:22 AM
The Latest: France offers 1 billion euros to Tunisia

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The latest developments on unrest in Tunisia. All times local:

3:15 p.m.

France is offering 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in aid to Tunisia, including aid to regions where young people are struggling.

The French and Tunisian leaders met for lunch Friday in Paris before Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid cut his visit short to deal with a spreading protest movement touched off by the death of a young jobless man.

In a statement afterward, French President Francois Hollande announced 1 billion euros in aid over five years.

France is the strongest European ally of Tunisia, a former French colony.


2:15 p.m.

Tunisia's prime minister says he understands why young people are protesting over unemployment, but the country is still suffering through the growing pains of a young democracy, compounded by the problem of terrorism.

In an interview Friday with France 24 television, just before his government imposed a nationwide curfew, Habib Essid denied the situation this time — where a young man was electrocuted after he climbed a transmission tower — was comparable to the suicide that touched off the Arab Spring five years ago, even if both young men were anguished over a lack of prospects.

Essid said Tunisia is a new democracy, and his government is aware of the difficulties it faces.


1 p.m.

Tunisia has declared a nationwide curfew beginning Friday night, saying the spreading unrest is a danger to public safety.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the curfew would last from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Unrest triggered by the death of a young jobseeker in Kesserine on Sunday has spread throughout the country during the week.