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Tunisia’s Belt-Tightening Policies Put Democracy at Risk

May 2, 2018

TUNIS — When Tunisians rose up against their longtime ruler seven years ago, a pair of idealistic young teachers joined in, hoping the protests would usher their North African nation of 10 million into the ranks of the world’s democracies.

But today Adel and Marwa Jaafri are struggling financially as the country’s economy sputters, its currency falters and the government imposes fresh belt-tightening measures.

Mr. Jaafri, 35, a high school computer science teacher, recently took a second job installing satellite dishes and moonlights fixing computers. “I still can’t afford my life,” he said. “We are just making it, but we have taken out a lot of loans. Everything is more expensive — food, school books for the children.”

Tunisia’s Belt-Tightening Policies Put Democracy at RiskTunisia’s Belt-Tightening Policies Put Democracy at Risk

Ms. Jaafri, 34, a university professor of computer programming, finished his sentence: “Clothes, shoes for the kids. Of course we’re worried. We’re struggling.”

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