Sunday, January 16, 2011

Revolt in Tunisia

Now that crowds of angry people have chased out Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, what happens next? French blogger Guy Milliere worries that the situation is very fragile. He gives the Tunisians a 10% chance of achieving a peaceful democracy and a 90% chance either of a military takeover or chaos from which the Islamists will profit.

His reasons? First, the Islamists made a push in Tunisia ten years ago (and were beaten back by Ben Ali), and are ever more strident in Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon. Second, the uprisings were due to economic problems that, in the current global economic situation, are unlikely to improve. Indeed, unrest will only drive away tourists, further depressing the Tunisian economy. And all those educated, unemployed young people will still be completely frustrated.

Milliere hopes he's wrong and I hope so too but, as the military say, 'hope is not a plan.'

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