Tunisia: Interest-Free Loan Offered to Tunisians Abroad to Facilitate Their Return Home

Tunis/Tunisia — An agreement to grant Tunisians residing in France and Europe an interest-free credit of up to €6 thousand to enable them to purchase tickets from Tunisair or CTN (Tunisian Shipping Company) has been agreed with the Tunisian Foreign Bank (TFBank), said Finance Minister Nizar Yaïche.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his visit to Tunis-Carthage International Airport on Monday, the minister added that this credit will have to be repaid over 12 months and is aimed at facilitating the return of Tunisians abroad, many of whom have complained about the high price of tickets.

He added that it has also been agreed with the TFBank to allow the Tunisian community in France and Europe to send money to Tunisia without paying transfer fees.

Those who want to benefit from this agreement and who can open accounts in this bank must contact it and can transfer funds within 24 hours while getting the exchange rate in advance he said.

Yaïche also announced a new third procedure, which consists of changing the method of payment of the circulation tax.

Previously, Tunisians residing abroad had to pay for a year when the visit to Tunisia exceeds three months, now they will only pay one month from the fourth month of the visit to Tunisia, according to Yaïche.

He also recalled the extension of the validity period of passports from 5 to 10 years for people over 15 years of age, which will be the subject of a government decree currently being drawn up.

He indicated that the government will propose new legislative initiatives for the benefit of Tunisian expatriates in the framework of the new finance law.

He noted that remittances from migrants around the world are expected to fall by about 20% in 2020, driven by the economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures, according to the World Bank.

The WB explains this expected drop, "the steepest in recent history", by a decline in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who are often particularly exposed to income and job losses in the event of an economic crisis in their host country.

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