Prime Minister Youssef Chahed promised Tuesday an end to economic hardship, seeking to calm anti-austerity protesters.
PM Chahed told reporters that demonstrations were acceptable but violence and looting was not.
“People have to understand that the situation is extraordinary and their country is experiencing difficulties but we believe that 2018 will be the last difficult year for the Tunisians,” Chahed said.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed noted on Tuesday that “the only recourse against looters of public and private properties and their backers is to enforce the law.”
On the fringes of an unannounced visit to the headquarters of the Remada first saharan territorial regiment command in Tataouine, Chahed said that “the government will protect and listen to all those who want to demonstrate peacefully.”
“There would be positive signs Chahed said ensuring a future improvement of the situation. “2018 will be the last difficult year for Tunisia,” he promised.
Khelifa Chibani, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said 44 people had been arrested for carrying weapons such as knives, setting government buildings on fire and looting shops.
“What happened had nothing to do with democracy and protests against price hike, monday night protesters burnt down two police stations, they looted shops, banks and damaged property in many cities,” spokesman Chibani said.
In turn, political parties denounced on Tuesday the acts of “vandalism” and “looting” amid the social protest movements on Monday evening in several regions of the country.