Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 18 killed in Abidjan floods from heavy rains

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's anti-Merkel Twitter tirade

Read more

THE DEBATE

Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more

Africa

European Union agrees to freeze ousted Tunisian president Ben Ali's assets

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-02-01

EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to freeze the assets of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his wife and their associates. The EU is also expected to look at offering better trade terms to Tunisia to help strengthen its economy.

REUTERS - European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to freeze the assets of Tunisia's former President Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, an EU official said.

The sanctions could be extended in future to other people considered to have misappropriated state funds, the official said.

Ben Ali and his family built up interests in many Tunisian companies and industries during his two decades in power, including hotels, banks, tuna exports, construction, newspapers and pharmaceuticals.

He was driven out by a popular revolt on Jan. 14 and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia.

EU ministers meeting in Brussels were also expected to look at ways to offer better trade terms to Tunisia to help strengthen the country's economy.

Since Ben Ali's overthrow, the EU has been trying to create a new relationship with a country with which it developed strong trade and political ties during Ben Ali's 23 years in power.

France, Tunisia's former colonial ruler, Italy and Spain have all had good relations with Ben Ali and his government in recent years, while at the same time urging democratic reforms.

It was not yet clear where the Ben Ali family's assets were held, although Switzerland has said it intends to freeze any deposited there. France has announced measures to block any suspicious movements of Tunisian money.

Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign affairs chief, spoke to Tunisia's foreign minister by telephone on Friday and invited him to come to Brussels this week to discuss how the EU could help the country as it tries to restore stability.

The EU plans to send a team of experts to Tunisia in the coming weeks to help plan new elections.
 

Date created : 2011-01-31

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia seeks Interpol’s help to arrest Ben Ali and family

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Prime minister purges Ben Ali allies but holds on to post

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Dozens injured as protesters and police clash in Tunis

    Read more

COMMENT(S)