Tunisia gets $28m from ex-leader

Tunisian riot police clashed with protesters in Hergla, about 60 miles south of Tunis, on Friday.

Mohamed Amine ben Aziza/Reuters

Tunisian riot police clashed with protesters in Hergla, about 60 miles south of Tunis, on Friday.

TUNIS, Tunisia — Officials trying to right Tunisia’s ailing economy shouldn’t count on an estimated $20 billion still to be recovered from the family of the deposed dictator, a prominent Tunisian economist said Friday.

A $28 million check was presented to Tunisia on Thursday, but Ezzedine Saidane said that money was from an easily recovered Lebanese bank account owned by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s wife — and the rest won’t be so easy to get back. ‘‘It will take 15 to 20 years just to get the crumbs,’’ he said. He suggested that Tunisia review its methods of recovering the money.


Ben Ali was ousted in January 2011, inspiring the North African prodemocracy movement.

Saidane estimated there was up to $20 billion taken by Ben Ali and the Trabelsi clan, based on an independent study he conducted with other economists.

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Also Friday, a mob of alleged religious conservatives attacked a police station in the coastal town of Hergla and clashed with security forces, leaving one person dead and two wounded, the state news agency reported.

Associated Press

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