News / 28 March 2014

EU Loan takes Tunisia from frying pan into fire


The European Union wants to grant a EUR 300 million loan to Tunisia, under the guise of development assistance. This is a very bad idea, according to Both ENDS and other European and North-African civil society organisations.


Around 85% of the loan would immediately be used to repay the already existing debts Tunisia has to the EU Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB). These debts have been generated by the regime of dictator Ben Ali, but the common people of Tunisia -  already empoverished  - will have to meet the costs.

Repaying odious debts

Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS says that a very large part of this loan can be labeled as ‘odious’ or illegitimate. Odious debts are debts incurred by a regime for its own profit, not to serve the interests of the people. Such debts are considered to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. It would be very unfair if the people would have to repay a debt that was generated by a regime they didn’t even vote for.”


Vote against increase of already huge debt

Our European partner organisation Eurodad also strongly urges the European Parliament to vote against the loan. “If the EU really wants to help the Tunisian people, it should concentrate on a credible plan for unconditional debt relief”, says Bodo Ellmers of Eurodad. “In this scenario all these old, odious debts should be cancelled.” Both ENDS, together with Eurodad and other civil society organisations, drew up a press release, hoping to convince the European Parliament to take the right decision. The vote in Parliament will happen on April 16.


The press release




Photo: Dag Terje Filip Endresen on Flickr

Read more about this subject