Doubts over banks sell-off

Africa Confidential Vol 56 No 3 | 6 February 2015
Privatisation looms for the state’s big stake in banking but the public could end up paying the debts of ex-President Ben Ali’s cronies
Secret audits of Tunisia’s anaemic state banks have turned up a host of bad loans from the era of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Now that economic policy is back in the hands of pre-Jasmine Revolution politicians, some fear that many improper loans to allies of the ruling circle will be quietly wiped away and no one held to account. There are no realistic prospects that the holders of the unpaid loans found in the audits will be revealed, however. ‘Why should we give all the information on that?’ asks Chedli Ayari, the Governor of the central bank, the Banque centrale de Tunisie (BCT), an octogenarian who served under Ben Ali (AC Vol 53 No 25, Wilting Jasmine).
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