Mediterranean Nations Current Affairs - 2020

French Refinery spills toxic chemicals into Mediterranean Sea

On July 25, 2020, an orange brown chemical spread over 6 hectares of nationally recognised marine life area in the French Mediterranean Sea.

Highlights

The chemical spread was mainly due to the leak at a petrochemical plant in the southern France. The leak at the American-owned chemical company Kem-One spilled 200 gallons of iron chloride into the sea.

Concerns

Contact of iron chloride might eyes and mucous membrane. Ingesting it might be fatal.

Mediterranean Sea

The Sea is connected to Atlantic Ocean and is completely enclosed by land. The countries with coastlines of Mediterranean Sea are Albania, Bosnia, Algeria, Croatia, Herzegovnia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

Why is the sea important today?

The sea is one of the busiest trade routes in the world.  The Suez Canal connects the red sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The canal supports 8% of the world’s shipping. The sea through the canal facilitates trade to Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigns

On July 16, 2020, the Tunisian PM Elyes Fakhfakh resigned. He presented his resignation to the President of Tunisia Kais Saied.

Highlights

The collapse of Mr FakhFakh’s Government within five months of its formation is to delay economic reforms. The country was hailing towards successful transition of democracy since 2011 revolution.

Background

The splits in Mr Fakhfakh’s government made it harder to agree on urgent economic reforms that were demanded by foreign lenders. This was essential to bring public debt and fiscal deficit to a more sustainable trajectory.

The pandemic has worsened the conditions in the country. It has asked four countries to delay debt repayments. Tunisia is expected to shrink by 6.5% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

About Tunisia

Tunisia is a country in the region of north Africa. It is bordered by Algeria in west and south west, Mediterranean Sea in the north and east and Libya in the south east. The Eastern end of Atlas Mountains extend into the country. The northern regions of the country hold Sahara desert.

Tunisian Revolution

The Tunisian Revolution also called Jasmine revolution was a 28 day campaign of civil resistance. It led to the ousting of long time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.