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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Troops in Tunisia fired water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of demonstrators in the centre of the capitol, Tunis. Tunisians are protesting against plans to include the former ruling party in a new coalition government. With the unrest in its second month, and the government in tatters, how is Tunisia’s economy holding up?
The BBC’s Jon Leyne is with us now from Cairo with the latest. Hi Jon.
JON LEYNE: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: What kind of affects are we seeing from this violence in the Tunisian economy?
LEYNE: Obviously there’s an immediate disruption must obviously to the tourist industry. But more widely people can’t get to work at the moment. Economists are saying that dislocation could continue for weeks and months pushing output down from perhaps 5 percent, 5.5 percent growth in previous years to around 3 or 4 percent. But at the same time, they’re quite optimistic that in future years growth could pick up. They say that the government at present, Ben Ali that’s been ousted was holding them back with it’s corruption and mismanagement and the prospects if the country stabilizes could be very good.
CHIOTAKIS: You talk about output, Jon. What does the Tunisian economy rely on?
LEYNE: They have tourism, but they also have manufacturing, they have agriculture, they have mining, it’s a verg well educated population. And a very well trained population with things like engineering skills. So it’s a great base for manufactures like Airbus, manufactuors from the United States and Europe to set up not far from their European markets.
CHIOTAKIS: The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo, Jon thank you.
LEYNE: My pleasure.
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