Tunisia offers to sell its shares in the airline Nouvlair

Band Tarek Amara

TUNIS, April 15 (Reuters)Tunisia on Friday put up for sale its shares in the airline Nouvlair confiscated from a son-in-law of the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, overthrown in the 2011 uprising, Karama Holding Company said.

The deadline for submission of bids is May 19 at 5 p.m. local time. (15:00 GMT).

Karama Holding Company is responsible for disposing of property confiscated from Ben Ali’s relatives after the revolution.

The Tunisian State holds 23.8% of Nouvlair’s shares. It previously belonged to Belhassan Trabelsi, Ben Ali’s son-in-law who fled the country after the revolution, but the state seized them among several real estate and other properties.

The sale of shares in several companies and banks is part of the proposals that the Tunisian government has made to the International Monetary Fund for additional financial assistance.

Tunisia, suffering from its worst financial crisis, is trying to agree a new financing program with the IMF in exchange for unpopular reforms, including subsidy cuts and the sale of some state-owned companies.

The IMF called for reforms to cut public enterprise spending, subsidies and the state wage bill, but the powerful UGTT union rejected that approach at a time of high unemployment and threatened to call a general strike.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Heinrich)

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