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LA STAMPA

Signs Of Life In Tunisia's Economy As Italian Trading Partners Get Back In Business

Tunisia’s recent “Jasmine revolution” has brought much of the country’s economy to a standstill. Foreign tourists are still a rare sight right now, but long-established Italian companies are eager to reignite old economic ties.

Tunisian economy has been grounded since the Jasmine Revolution (francesco sgroi)
Tunisian economy has been grounded since the Jasmine Revolution (francesco sgroi)
Marco Alfieri

TUNIS - At the first Italian-Tunisian business forum after the revolution, which took place last week in Tunis, jasmine flowers were everywhere: scattered on the desks and window sills, and even decorating men's buttonholes. The flower – a symbol of the Arab spring – has replaced the pictures of former Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, in the streets and in all the offices of Tunisia's transitional government.

At the forum, Tunisia's new trade and tourism minister, Mehdi Houas (who came back from Paris only six months ago) met many Italian businessmen, as well as Italy's industry minister Paolo Romani. "I am here to reassure the Italian business community and also to be reassured by the Tunisian authorities about the further steps towards transition of a country which is a dear friend of Italy," Romani told him.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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