The Tunisian government has asked Ecuador for advice on conducting an audit into debts inherited from the Ben Ali regime. The Ecuador government will be sending a mission to Tunisia to explain the debt audit process they held in 2008, and the subsequent partial default and buyback on selected loans, which reduced the South American country’s debt by $3 billion.
A bill is being introduced to the Tunisian parliament to hold a debt audit, though it does not contain any provisions to suspend debt payments, and will only investigate debts taken out by the Ben Ali regime, not loans since the 2010/11 revolution.
The Tunisian government’s external debt is currently $14.6 billion, 33 per cent of GDP. Foreign debt payments are $1.9 billion a year; 15 per cent of government revenue.