First Published: 2012-12-27

 

Islamist-led Tunisia to raise alcohol duty

 

Constituent Assembly approves rise in alcohol duty despite criticism from rival Islamists that it is ‘haram’ to profit from it.

 

Middle East Online

Unorthodox fiscal move

TUNIS - The Islamist-led ruling coalition in Tunisia raised alcohol duty on Wednesday in a bid to bolster state coffers despite criticism from rival Islamists that it was wrong to profit from an activity prohibited by the faith.

The Constituent Assembly approved the budget measure aimed at raising 170 million dinars (85 million euros), acting finance minister Slim Besbes told the state TAP news agency.

MPs from the moderate Islamist Ennahda party that leads the government voted in favour but an MP from a rival Islamist outfit slammed the move as un-Islamic.

In its successful October 2011 parliamentary election campaign, Ennahda gave undertakings that it would do nothing to outlaw the sale or consumption of alcohol in Tunisia, which is heavily dependent on foreign, particularly European, tourism.

But party leader Rached Ghannouchi later called on supporters to shun bars and off-licences.

Bars have since been a repeated target for attack by hardline Salafist groups, who have succeeded in forcing the closure of a number.

But beer sales still rose by 20 percent in the first half of the year, according to figures from the brewers.

 

Libyan court sentences Kadhafi son to death in absentia

Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' attack

Syrian army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh

Air raids and clashes shatter Yemen truce

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25

Javad Zarif has 'no concern' about nuclear deal

Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016

Kuwait sentences 4 Egyptians to death for murder

Turkish sergeant shot dead by Kurdish militant

Netanyahu: Iran a 'formidable' danger to Europe

Iran's conservative media slams French FM over export of tainted blood

NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'

Mogherini due in Iran for nuclear deal talks

Erdogan: No peace process with Kurds amid attacks

Saudi FM denounces 'aggressive' Iran statements

Two suspected jihadists in Cairo raid

Saudi king supports Turkish military action

Morocco media boss to pay defamation damages for transport minister

Abbas vs. Dahlan: Rumblings in Ramallah raise questions on Palestinian politics

Iraq Shiite chief sees no change in Turkey stance on IS

Coalition jets accidentally hit pro-government Yemen forces

ISIS on agenda as Cameron leads trade mission to Southeast Asia

PKK 'never respected' peace process

Arab ministers to meet after Jerusalem clashes

US joins forces with Turkey: Agreement to forge 'ISIS-free zone' in Syria

Ahead of emergency meeting, Turkey ‘has not asked’ for NATO help

Obama vows to keep up pressure on Somalia's Shebab

EU foreign chief due in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran, Yemen

Kurds cut key jihadist supply route in northern Syria

Turkey could "change the balance" in Syria

Rebel fire kills Syrian reporter in Damascus

Turkish tanks shell Kurdish-held Syria village

Saudi-led coalition suspends Yemen air war

13 killed in Mogadishu hotel car bomb attack

Bomb blast kills at least six people in Somalia capital

Death toll from Nile boat crash rises to 36

Pro-Hadi forces battle retreating rebels in south Yemen

Iraq forces retake university campus on edge of Ramadi

Egypt extends state of emergency in parts of Sinai Peninsula

Clashes erupt as Israel security forces raid Al-Aqsa mosque compound

Fatigue, but not defeat: Syria army faces manpower shortage

Fragile truce in danger as Turkey blames PKK for deadly attack