The chronicle of this country’s adventures in recent years exposes us to incredible things. It goes without saying that there is a price to pay when you do not write what is necessary and when you criticize the power of the place, whoever the main characters are.
We started with the Islamists of the time of the Troika, who attacked our newspaper day and night and ordered them to give the Islamists a chance. Then came the blunt and stupid sympathizers of the late Béji Caïd Essebsi and Nidaa Tounes, who had the flexibility to swallow the “consensus” snake when their boss, who reminds them of Bourguiba, went to Paris to come to terms with the absolute evil, embodied in person by Rached Ghannouchi.
When we said in 2012 that Nidaa Tounes is a patchwork of politicians from all sides who would cease to exist when the 2014 election is over, we were offended. When we said that Béji Caïd Essebsi would enter into a pact with the Islamists, we were offended.
As we began to condemn the excesses of power and interference from the family of Béji Caïd Essebi, we were subtly threatened. Clearly, “bajboujettes”, for those who remember, had a field day and had slandered our newspaper’s long Facebook posts. Moreover, it is not without some satisfaction that we see them return to ask for help from the newspaper “in the trunk of Islamists”.
When we then felt the danger that Youssef Chahed could represent, several of his relatives and friends tried to change the editorial line. A little later, it was the Islamists who came back to say that the newspaper supports Nabil Karoui, the corrupt one. They attacked the newspaper, as usual, but we must admit that it happened with much more subtlety than during the troika years. Needless to say, after the election, Nabil Karoui and his party had become quite popular among the Islamists, and they allied with him. The opportunity to throw the remnants of Nidaa Tounes scraped by Nabil Karoui into shame and embarrassment for the second time in passing. The last episode of this long decade is composed by the fanatics of Kaïs Saïed.
First, before you continue and in fairness to your readers, there is an important admission to make: we are rich, very rich. As a newspaper, and unlike all Tunisian media, we are extremely rich. At least according to what is being said.
In the time of the troika we would have been paid by the “counter-revolution and the forces of the old regime”. In the time of the late Béji Caïd Essebsi it was the Islamists and Ennahdha who would have paid us, then Youssef Chahed would have sprayed us with the famous British money, then Nabil Karoui would have given us a lot of money to promote himself and now is the Islamists who would pay us to criticize the head of state, Kaïs Saïed.
That is why, since we have accumulated so much money in ten years, we have luxury cars, apartments in Paris and properties abroad!
This is obviously not the case for a very simple reason: if that tenth of all this had been true, one of the Tunisian rulers would have used it to definitively bury this newspaper, which is so annoying to any power on the spot. And it’s not because of lack of appearance!
Then one must also share a certain disappointment over the arguments used to defend power. They are alike from one power to another. There is the famous “we must give him / them a chance to work and move the country forward”, there is the tireless “he takes power with a heavy legacy left by the others, what should they do” and so the always fashionable “Stop criticizing! Was the situation better before? Do you want to return? “.
We have been told the same thing since 2012, when we try to warn against people, organizations, parties that are destroying the state and Tunisia. Seeing today people who have exploited the system as much as possible today talk about the “dark decade” is always a source of astonishment. It goes further, there are people, the same ones who defended the Islamists during the troika, who joined Nidaa Tounes afterwards, who branched out into Youssef Chahed’s party, took a short trip to Qalb Tounes with Nabil Karoui and who today defends Kaïs Saïed President of the Republic! It does not stop them from giving lessons and still believing that they are being listened to and that they are having an impact.
It is in this downturn on several levels that we are forced to evolve, for those of us who do not have the opportunity to take a plane and rebuild our lives elsewhere. We will, of course, continue to do our job and warn against the excesses of all powers and all regimes in Tunisia, the excesses of Kaïs Saïed will be no exception. And over time, we have also learned to manage the orchestras of lawmakers, opportunists, and parasites better.