Tunisia - President Kais Saied urged an end to the categorisation of bakeries, as he met Prime Minister Najla Bouden and Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia on Thursday evening at the Government Palace in Kasbah.
The categorisation, which has been in place since 2011, divides bakeries into classified and unclassified ones.
The President warned that «bread is a red line not to be crossed,» arguing that selling bread at higher prices is a "disguised means of lifting subsidies."
He pointed out that 1,443 unclassified bakeries offer various types of bread at high prices, while 3,337 classified bakeries sometimes fail to supply the necessary quantities of bread to the underprivileged population.
He reiterated the need to tackle this diversion, especially as 270 classified bakeries have recently been banned from obtaining supplies due to fraudulent practices. These bakeries were found to be selling subsidised products to other unclassified bakeries.
Saied urged Bouden to work on strengthening the oversight bodies and countering attempts to increase prices, which only fuel social tensions.
Furthermore, the President stressed the necessity of reviewing appointments within the administrations, ensuring they serve as an extension of political power and not an "obstacle" hindering the objective of providing service to citizens impartially.
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