Tunis has all the trappings of a great Mediterranean city, but the visitors that once thronged its beaches, corniche and historic centre are these days few and far between. The terraces of Gammarth’s swanky hotels, where you used to struggle to find a table, are now mostly occupied by wealthy Tunisois, business travellers and the odd tourist.
Strike up a conversation in Tunis and the subject of the economy is almost guaranteed to come up. For those I spoke to, newly-won political freedoms have been overshadowed by increasing privations. The country has been struggling through a series of economic setbacks since the 2011 overthrow of the Ben Ali regime, which set off the Arab Spring. Two of the biggest were the flight of foreign investment following the revolution and the sharp fall in tourist numbers after the Bardo and Sousse terrorist attacks in March and June 2015.
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