Magharebia (Washington DC)

2 December 2012

Tunisia: Siliana Protestors Mull Compromise Offer

The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) on Sunday (December 2nd) will decide whether to suspend a general strike in the central town of Siliana, AFP reported. The move comes after the government and the union reached a deal to end five days of violence that left more than 300 injured.

The protesters had demanded the resignation of the regional governor, funds to boost development and the release of demonstrators arrested last year.

Under the compromise reached Saturday afternoon, Governor Ahmed Ezzine Mahjoubi would be side-lined and his deputy would assume responsibilities.

UGTT deputy secretary general Belgacem Ayari described the deal as "a positive step, pending concrete decisions".

Government spokesman Samir Dilou also hailed the agreement.

"The deal meets all the demands of the residents of Siliana. We call for calm, because there is no excuse for the protests and the violence," he said.

The day before the parties came to terms. President Moncef Marzouki warned that the Siliana crisis could spread and thus "threaten the future of the revolution".

Tunisia was at a crossroads between "the road to ruin and the road to recovery", Marzouki said in a televised speech on Friday.

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