Seven years after the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Tunisia continues to struggle with economic and consequent social crises that democracy and respect for basic freedoms cannot alone alleviate. The financial crisis has proven to be the most challenging of Tunisia's problems.
Data published by the Central Bank of Tunisia on Jan. 25 revealed that the growing trade deficit has led to the further erosion of the country's foreign currency reserves. The bank’s website indicated that reserves had dropped to 12.3 billion dinars ($5.1 billion) on Jan. 23, enough for 89 days, a 15-year low. At the end of 2016, reserves had been sufficient to cover 106 days.