France promises aid for Tunisia

Paris – France provides one billion euros to Tunisia over the next five years as part of an economic support program, the French presidency said Friday.
“A major aspect of this plan is to help poor regions and youth, with emphasis on employment,” said the office of French President Francois Hollande after meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid in Paris.
“Five years after the revolution, Tunisia has succeeded in its transition to democracy, but still faces significant economic challenges, social and safety,” Hollande’s office said.
Essid for its part warned that unemployment can not be eradicated overnight, saying. “We do not have a magic wand”
Protests erupted this week in unemployment and poverty, leading to the announcement of a night curfew earlier Friday, although Essid said the situation had been “placed under control”.
Essid, however, decided to cut short his visit and go home.
Holland and Essid also discussed the common threat of jihadist terrorism. Tunisia has faced multiple attacks in recent months.
“Tunisia, like France, is threatened and has been seriously affected by terrorism, because it has made a choice for democracy,” said the office of Holland.
“The president stressed that France is willing to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls will travel to Tunisia by the end of the year, the statement added, as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen ties.

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