Daily Archives: January 17, 2018

Tunisia: January, the month of logical revolts

by Fausto Giudice

It was predictable, it was foreseen and it happened: Tunisia exploded from below on Monday, the 8th of January.

In all parts of the country, marginalised youths attacked police stations, supermarkets, authorities – tax centres, municipalities, governorates – and blocked trains, and clashed with police and the military, who made generous use of tear gas. A 43-year-old man, Khomsi Yafreni, was killed in Tebourba on Monday night and his funeral on Tuesday gave rise to further clashes. The Interior Ministry has denied that he was killed by the police. 800 “rioters” were arrested. The reaction of the government and the official media was lamentably unanimous: they did not speak of protests, but of riots instigated by thugs and bandits. “There are no protests at night”, was the sentence issued by Prime Minister Youssef Chahedh, who promised that “2018 will be the last difficult year for Tunisia”. We would like to believe it.

Weapons for Egypt from Germany

Last year, the German government authorized a record number of arms exports to Egypt. As the government confirmed, permits, valued at around €428 million, were issued in 2017. Among the goods Cairo received are TyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ submarines. The deliveries are being carried out in spite of serious accusations of grave human rights violations raised against the Egyptian military government. The case of an Italian post-grad student, who was possibly murdered in early 2016 by Egyptian police or secret service agents, has yet to be solved. In addition the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen is supported by the Egyptian navy. Germany is also providing arms to the coalition. According to reports, arms deliveries have recently been expanded to the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, even NATO countries are beginning to suspend their deliveries to the coalition, because of the humanitarian catastrophe caused in Yemen.

Russia | Russia: Court rules to dissolve famous trade union

On 10 January, the local court of Saint Petersburg, Russia, ruled that Interregional Trade Union Workers’ Association (ITUWA) should be liquidated claiming the union conducted political activities and received foreign funds.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the union demanded changes in the national labour legislation, referring to ITUWA’s online collection of signatures in support of the modifications on the Labour Code. In fact, ITUWA had promoted a public petition on the indexation of salaries of employees in private companies in accordance with inflation. IndustriALL believes this is clearly one of the ways to protect its members’ interests and therefore dismisses the accusation of the prosecutor.