Recently, Tunisia was added to the European Union’s “blacklist” which is reserved for countries that are believed to be held at high risk for money laundering and terrorism financing. Put together by the European Commission, this list includes countries that are believed “to have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regimes.” Other countries on the list include; Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The vote to include Tunisia was made on a 357 in favor and 283 opposing vote with 26 abstentions. Concerns were raised by some Members of the European Parliament indicating that Tunisia should not be on the list because the country is a democratic state that requires support and that those who supported the decision failed to take into consideration all of the recent motions that have been put into place to strengthen the country’s finances and combat criminal activity. These motions include increasing government aid by providing money for housing for those too poor to fit the criteria for bank loans. Tunisia officials will also review retirement disbursements for some citizens who are being underpaid because their former employers did not declare their real salaries. In addition, Tunisia has seen growth in their tourism, raising it from 4.5 million tourists in 2016 to 6.7 million tourists in 2017 which will help Tunisia’s economy and its fight against money laundering and other illegal activities.
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