Tunisian President Kais Saied stated on Saturday that boosting taxes on the wealthy may be an alternative to socially difficult measures in order to achieve an international financial bailout package.

Tunisia’s government reached a preliminary deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October for a $1.9 billion loan in exchange for cutbacks to subsidies and the public sector wage bill, as well as reform of state-owned enterprises.

Credit rating agencies have warned that without the loan, Tunisia risks defaulting on sovereign debt, which is also anticipated to unleash further bilateral finance.

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