Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

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

    Dozens injured as protesters and police clash in Tunis

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Prime minister purges Ben Ali allies but holds on to post

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

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

    Read more

COMMENT(S)