Alwaght- The Tunisian government plans more aid for poor families in a bid to defuse tensions following violent anti-austerity protests that saw hundreds arrested and left at least one man dead.
Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi hosted emergency talks with trade unions, employers’ associations, and political parties on Saturday.
"We discussed the general situation in the country and the reforms, especially socio-economic, that must be adopted to overcome the current problems," Wided Bouchamaoui, the head of the UTICA employers association, told reporters after the meeting.
Noureddine Taboubi, the secretary general of UGTT, the country's main trade union, said no specific moves had been agreed but that measures "must be adopted" to aid needy families and improve the social safety net.
Sources say that a package of measures would include extra aid to poor families and people in need.
Peaceful protests broke out across Tunisia after the government adopted a new budget that raised taxes and pushed up the cost of living on January 1.
Demonstrations escalated on Monday night as youths burned tires to block streets and clashed with security forces.
Meanwhile, more than 770 people have been arrested in Tunisia during nearly a week of protests against a government plan to raise taxes and prices of basic goods, according to the UN.
Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN human rights office, called for calm and restraint on Friday, and urged Tunisia's government to ensure freedom of peaceful assembly.
The unrest comes ahead of Sunday's seventh anniversary of the Islamic uprising that toppled the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, an event that sparked similar uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
While the other uprisings have descended into violence or given way to authoritarianism, Tunisia is widely seen as a success story of the uprising.
But frustration has grown among many Tunisians over economic stagnation and unemployment.