Tunisia will welcome an IMF mission on 27 March to discuss the fifth review of its $2.9bn program. The IMF is not happy with Tunisia, which caved in to union pressure to grant 670,000 public servants a wage hike in February. It did the same for 150,000 state-firm employees in October (MEES 16 November) .

Tunisia’s wage bill accounts for around 46% of spending, one of the highest in the world. Its 2018 trade deficit came in at a near record $7.2bn, with net oil and gas imports...