Tunis — The European Union (EU) announced, on Monday in Brussels, its approval of a new legal framework which would help Tunisia recover the assets stolen by deposed President Ben Ali, frozen since the eruption of the Revolution in Tunisia.
"The (European) ministers approved of a new legal framework that allows EU states to hand over the frozen assets," according to an EU communiqué reported by French AFP news agency.
The communiqué specifies that, "when judiciary measures are taken, they will allow the Tunisian authorities to recover the frozen assets as part of the EU sanctions on the Ben Ali regime."
Mrs. Catherine Ashton, EU Senior Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, said that "restitution of funds stolen under Tunisia's ancien regime (...) represents a priority for us. The EU will spare no effort to hand back these funds to the Tunisian people," she affirmed.
Since January 2011, funds and assets of 48 Tunisian nationals, including former President Ben Ali's, have been frozen by the EU, AFP reminds.