Saturday, January 15, 2011

Protest of the Day: Tunisia

What started out in Tunisia as protests over higher food prices has escalated into all out crisis.

NYT reports:

Unrest engulfed Tunisia on Saturday after a popular rebellion forced the president to flee: Dozens of inmates were killed in two prison fires, looters emptied shops and torched the main train station and gunfire echoed through the capital.

Power changed hands for the second time in 24 hours in this North African country after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country Friday for Saudi Arabia. The head of the Constitutional Court declared Saturday that Ben Ali has left office for good - not temporarily - and rejected the prime minister's move to assume power.
Tunisia is likely only the beginning. Even WaPo knows it:

The state of emergency in Tunisia has economists worried that we may be seeing the beginnings of a second wave of global food riots...the global food supply system is buckling under the strain. This month, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that its food price index jumped 32 percent in the second half of 2010 -- surpassing the previous record, set in the early summer of 2008, when deadly clashes over food broke out around the world, from Haiti to Somalia.

An FAO report noted that "recent bouts of extreme price volatility in global agricultural markets portend rising and more frequent threats to world food security."

In announcing the new numbers, Abdolreza Abbassian, the FAO's chief economist at the FAO, told reporters that "We are entering a danger territory."

"Certainly the kind of weather developments we have seen makes us worry a little bit more that it may last much, much longer. Are we prepared for it? Really, this is the question," he said.
Of course, it is not just the weather, it is economic policies that stifle food production and central bank inflationary monetary policies. All combined it is a witches brew that is going to cause problems at many spots on the globe.


  1. Wonder where Obama might run to when this happens in Amerika...Did the Food Safety Bill have a provision about where the political terrorists who voted for this can run and hide?

  2. Hmmmm.
    Muslim Peoples live in Tunisia.
    I wonder if The Empire will morph the protesters into "Islamo-Fascists" and insert troops in the area ?