Tunisia’s Battle with Bread and Circuses


As Tunisia suffers from a bread shortage, the country will once again provide flour to over 1,000 bakeries in an attempt to tackle the crisis that Tunisia is currently facing. 

The shortage has meant that many bakeries selling baguettes, a well-known French bread, have stopped operating. Baguettes are a popular product to sell in European-style bakeries in the North African country and the shortage has worsened over the past couple of weeks, according to The Arab Weekly, August 21. 

Subsidised bakeries had been prevented from accessing their subsidised quota of flour. This came after the country’s President Kais Saied affirmed that Tunisians should only be restricted to one type of bread. 

Tunisia has suffered financially in recent months. A country highly dependent on wheat, droughts and a rise in temperatures have resulted in the former French-ruled country’s production of wheat declining. 

The shortages have meant that Tunisia has relied on imports as they plunge into further struggles, straining the government’s lacklustre finances. 

READ: Hundreds of Tunisian bakeries re-open after government talks

The limit on flour set out by the government has led to the closing of bakeries and protests broke out in Tunisia’s capital city Tunis. Bakeries were able to re-open after a week, following forced closures. 

A protest was planned next week on August 28 before being promptly cancelled due to the government’s recent announcement regarding the supplying of flour to a high number of bakeries. 

Whilst baguettes are a popular item to sell in European bakeries, pastries as well as other breads are sold in these shops. These types of bakeries tend to sell their products at a higher price. 

There has not been a rise in the price of baguettes since the early 1980s. Over 3,500 bakeries sell the French bread at a price of 190 Tunisian Millimes, the equivalent of 0.13 Euros. 

The country has faced similar bread crisises in the past as riots erupted in the early 1980s, killing around 150 people. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]