Corruption files involving the national flag carrier Tunisair should be opened, President of the Republic Kais Saied called on Monday.

This was during his meeting with the company's CEO on Monday afternoon, when he made an unannounced visit to Tunis-Carthage international airport, according to a video posted by the Presidency of the Republic.

President Saied underlined the need to open the file on Tunisian aircraft "Amilcar" which, he said, had left the national territory in 2017 "without return and without customs authorisation" and which is now in Florida in the United States.

The President of the Republic also called for the urgent opening of the file on the sale abroad of aircraft spare parts without their real value, considering that the purpose of selling these parts, initially intended for repair, had been to pave the way for the sale of this company.

The Head of State further reaffirmed commitment to opposing head-on any attempt to sell off state-owned companies.

"Let's be clear, public companies will never again be sold off. Under no circumstances can they be sold or disposed of," he insisted.

The Head of State called for the elimination of subcontracting within the carrier, pointing out that the employees under subcontracting contracts receive modest salaries of about TND 570, while the heads of the subcontracting companies arrogate to themselves a large sum estimated at TND 1,400 for each employee.

He said that it is no longer necessary to point out that subcontracting is nothing other than "a disguised form of slavery and the vile commodification of workers' efforts," stating that anyone who persists in starving workers will be considered a criminal and must be brought to justice.

Saied also called for a "purge" within Tunisair. A purge which should, he said, target more than 130 "false graduates" who do not meet the required recruitment conditions and who have regrettably succeeded in joining the carrier.

He also called for the need to improve the quality of the services provided by the company in order to boost its competitiveness with other carriers, assuring in this connection that Tunisia's skies would be open to Tunisair alone, alluding to the incessant calls to apply the open skies policy in Tunisia.

The Head of State also urged Tunisair's management to endeavour to overcome the problem of flight delays and to encourage the pilots, technicians and other staff to develop the company and ensure its continued existence.

The the Head of State indicated that there will soon be a legal text regulating the use of scrap metal by public companies, notably that belonging to Tunisair. This law will entrust the monopoly of its use to the one and only El Fouladh company in Menzel Bourguiba.

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