Tunisian Spring may end in early Autumn

Travelling through Tunisia one is tempted to be optimistic: agressive media, lively talkshows on radio and TV, wild scenario’s discussed in the many coffee houses and even women are talking politics. Fresh air all over the place, after the heavy years under president Ben Ali. But as in most revolutions, the real work still has to be done. While the heroes are either dead or resting, licking their wounds, the people seem to thgink that paradise will come overnight. Demands after demands are piling the shelves of the Ministries, one strike follows the other and discipline is going down the drain. Freedom means the right to drive on the wrong side of the streets and to throw away yoiur garbage wherever you like. Policemen -once the eyes of the regime- are standing idly on the many roundabouts, not caring or unhappy with the fact that they are no longer respected. In the meantime the new government, that has one year only to prove that it is able to turn around the economical situation (new elections will follow in November of this year),looks slightly lost amidst the mountain of priorities it has to choose from. There is no clear vision on how to solve the problems of the lack of jobs, sky high prices for food, the halted stream of tourists, the international relations and so on. The public at lartgfe talks, but little action is taken. The press is free, yes, but for how long? The government is still a liberal mixture of religious engagement and pragmatic realism, but for how long? When will the old cronies return and will corruption start all over again? The public at large talks but takes little action. Paradise is supposed to come overnight. The revolution has promised change, but no one talked about the hard work this will demand. It is all too uman for parents who have to feed their children to prefer law and order above freedom if this would buy them bread. Let this revolution learn from the mistakes of other similar outcries and blossom. To do so it may need more help from the West, that tends to focus on countries more important for its (military and economical) strategy, like Libya and Egypt. Tunisia deserves a little help from new friends.

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