The rich in Tunisia: But who are they?

It is an unbridled craze for appearance that has taken hold of our society and is the cause of a large part of the ills from which the country suffers. We all want to be rich. We all want to acquire the latest car model, to be among the strongest and most noticed people. As for the consequences, no one is indifferent.

The rich are either loved by some or hated by others. Generally, they are seen as predators ready to jump on opportunities that allow them to collect more money at the expense of the poor and needy. That is why, in our country, the unions and unionists or the leftists of the hammer and sickle dedicate to them an “unlimited hatred”.

Is this anger justified? Is it a crime to be rich? Must one remain eternally poor in order to profit from the compassion of others and especially those who have made “charity” work their business?

The car: flashy sign

It is true that the list of the rich in Tunisia does not show multi-trillion fortunes, as is the case with the head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos ($194 billion) or the founder of Space X Elon Musk ($184 billion).

Still, among the 20 richest families in Tunisia, there are thresholds ranging from 343 billion of our millimeters to more than 10 billion dinars. These wealthy people owe their fame to their activities in the most diverse fields (trade, import-export, food processing, etc.).

Their situation with respect to the government and the tax authorities would be within the norms. But since there is a “but”, we notice that the new rich are investing space and disrupting the country’s economic system. They choose the shortest path to enrich themselves without seeking to fulfill their tax obligations or respect the rules of fair competition.

The only goal for them is to succeed in collecting the greatest profit with minimum cost. Corruption or underhanded means are their weapons of choice. They stop at nothing and do everything to impose their pace and their agendas. Nor do they economize to the point of leading to mafia practices. This is the case with smugglers, drug traffickers, speculators of all kinds and other unscrupulous individuals.

One can therefore assume that areas such as the sale of auto spare parts, ownership of a petrol station or being a car dealer, freight forwarder in customs, wholesaler etc. are all highways to become a billionaire in our country.

These new realms emerge in public life. The first sign that betrays them is undoubtedly the car. This does not mean that we accuse everyone who has cars of being thieves and corrupt. Far from it!

However, there are many clues that show that this ostentatious wealth is evidence that can help identify people who enrich themselves through illegal means. Such individuals cannot hide their wealth, and it is by buying the latest luxury cars that they can feel that they have succeeded in rising in the ranks of society.

The economic and financial services have in their hands opportunities to help them fight corruption and curb abuses by this new breed whose goal is to make a fortune at any cost.

When we see that the number of new car registrations reaches more than 60,000/year, we quickly understand that the rate of enrichment is also faster. Previously, you had to wait for years to switch from one series of cars to another (one series corresponds to 10,000 cars). Without wishing to prejudge the new owners of these vehicles, it must be recognized that among them are owners of ill-gotten gains.

In order to register such a number of cars in a single year, the Tunisians must be at a certain level. However, we see that this same Tunisian is getting a little poorer every day. In addition, we see the emergence of new classes that are not shy about showing their wealth.

Of course, owning a car is not a crime at all. In 2021, the purchase of popular cars grew by almost 26%. Almost 10,000 new acquisitions were registered.

Easy greed

This shows that the Tunisian has the right to have his own means of transport considering the deplorable state of public transport. On the other hand, on our roads we can see large cars that cross our own and do not fail to attract the attention of passers-by. These vehicles would definitely belong to people who bought them with their own money or with the help of credits. But considering the luxury and type of cars, one wonders where so much money can come from. Since these race cars cost, as they say, arm’s length. Preliminary evidence can be presented.

We know that today easy money is within the reach of a large number of people who have chosen crime and criminality (narcotics, smuggling, suspicious financing, etc.). But there are also other paths, such as these young doctors or pharmacists or other fairly profitable professions who make their first investments in the car.

Luxury, of course! Even if it means going into debt for a while and taking advantage of the legal benefits they enjoy. However, it may be legal…

Other social categories come to redistribute the cards. Farmers and other traders want to collect large sums of money as quickly as possible to buy beautiful and luxurious cars, and indulge in frantic price increases. This is actually what is happening now. For example, farmers are no longer satisfied with reasonable prices as they used to be. These prices triple, quadruple or more. Just look at the prices of fruit, which have increased by a factor of five or even more. Figs, for example, were sold ten years ago for 380 millimeters per kilo to then rise to 840 millimeters or one dinar! Today, this price is multiplied by eleven and twelve! It is unthinkable. This shows this greed that has gripped all our farmers (or almost) and the overwhelming majority of our merchants and traders. We are in a mad race for prizes. It’s who wins more and faster.

In fact, everyone wants to become rich and get luxury items for him and his family. A beautiful and powerful car for the son or daughter or both at the same time would not hurt anyone. In fact, it is this craze for appearance that has gripped our society, which is the cause of a large part of the ills from which the country suffers. We all want to be rich. We all want to have the latest car model, to be among the strongest and most noticed people.

As for the consequences, no one is indifferent.

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