EU approves payment of €200 million loan to Tunisia
October 10, 2017
The European Commission yesterday approved the disbursement of a €200 million loan to Tunisia. The payment marks the launch of the second Macro-Financial Assistance programme to Tunisia, which will see a total of €500 million disbursed in three instalments in 2017 and 2018.
Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Today’s disbursement to Tunisia is proof of our strong commitment to support the successful economic recovery of one of our closest neighbours. With a renewed sense of urgency, Tunisia has reaffirmed its dedication to an effective partnership. The EU stands firmly with Tunisia in achieving prosperity for all of its people.”
The second Macro-Financial Assistance programme (MFA-II) was proposed following the terrorist attacks of 2015, which contributed to halting Tunisia’s economic recovery.
The second and third instalments of the MFA-II (€150 million each) will be tied to the implementation of a number of policy conditions targeting fiscal consolidation as well as the improvement of Tunisia’s social assistance schemes and business climate.
The EU’s strategy of assistance to Tunisia also includes budget support programmes, of which Tunisia is a major recipient among the Southern Neighbourhood countries, and substantial loans from the European Investment Bank.
Macro-Financial Assistance is an exceptional EU crisis response instrument available to the EU’s neighbouring partner countries, complementary to assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund. MFA loans are financed through EU borrowing on capital markets. The funds are then on-lent with similar financial terms to the beneficiary countries.
The two MFA operations supplement the grant funding provided by the EU to Tunisia under the European Neighbourhood Policy. EU grant assistance to Tunisia since the 2011 revolution has so far amounted to over €1 billion.