Tunisia raises fuel prices again amid severe financial crisis
TUNIS, April 13 (Reuters) - Tunisia said on Wednesday it has raised fuel prices by about 5% for the third time this year, in an effort to rein in its budget deficit, a policy change wanted by the country’s international lenders.
The North Africa country, suffering from its worst financial crisis, is trying to agree on a new financing program with the International Monetary Fundin exchange for unpopular reforms including cuts in fuel and food subsidies.
The price of a litre of gasoline will rise on Thursday to 2.330 dinars ($0.78) from 2.220, the Energy Ministry said.
The reforms proposed to the IMF include an increase in fuel and electricity prices, and a freeze on public-sector pay, moves strongly rejected by the country's most powerful labour union,which threatened to go on general strike.
The Energy Ministry said the price hike was due to the turmoil in the energy markets, the risks related to the shrinking of supplies, and high oil prices.
Each $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil results in a raise in annual funding for the government budget of $140 million, the ministry said.
($1 = 2.9840 Tunisian dinars)
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