IMF greets new Tunisia government with fresh loan
WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund released more than $500 million in support for Tunisia on Wednesday, shortly after a new technocratic government headed by Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa was sworn in.
The funds, part of a two-year, $1.76 billion loan agreed last June 7 to support reforms in the country's finances, had been held up due to political instability in the country through much of last year.
The disbursement of $506.7 million is the second of the loan deal.
The IMF said it was approved after the combined first and second reviews of Tunisia's progress under the program had been completed.
A government of independents, tasked with steering Tunisia to fresh elections, took the oath earlier Wednesday, replacing an Islamist-led administration under a hard-won deal to end months of political turmoil.
The swearing-in of Jomaa's government comes three days after the national assembly finally adopted a new constitution three years after the Arab Spring revolution.
Foreign leaders have welcomed the quickening moves to get the political transition back on track in Tunisia, which, despite its own problems, is seen as a beacon of hope compared with other Arab Spring nations like Libya and Egypt that remain mired in instability and political turmoil.