(2011-01-29) Tunisian Uprising
Tunis Ia has had a popular uprising. The demonstrations and riots were reported to have started over unemployment, food inflation, corruption, freedom of speech and poor living conditions. The protests led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who stepped down from the presidency and fled Tunisia on 14 January 2011 after 23 years in power.
Juan Cole on the Crony Capitalism that's been going on. These governments took steps in recent decades toward neoliberal policies of Privatization and a smaller public sector under pressure from Washington and allied institutions—and the process was often corrupt. The ruling families used their prior knowledge of important economic policy initiatives to engage in a kind of insider trading, advantaging their relatives and buddies... The US Embassy in Tunis estimated in 2006 that half the major entrepreneurs in the country were related by blood or marriage to the president.
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