Abbasi renewed calls for Ennahda cooperation Tunis – Azhar Jarboui Tunisian General Labour Union [UGTT] Secretary-General Hussein Abbasi has reportedly called on France to review Tunisia’s national debt, as economic problems and political divisions continue to trouble the country. Union leader Abbasi made the demand during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and head of the Tunisian Union for Industry and Commerce [UTICA] Widad Bouchmawi, during a visit to the country on the invitation of French trade unions. Abbasi had announced earlier this week the revival of the National Dialogue Initiative, originally launched by UGTT, which is expected to start at the end of the month. The programme aims to foster national consensus across the political spectrum, organising a clear roadmap for the next steps in Tunisia’s democratic journey. Ruling party Ennahda originally boycotted the UGTT initiative, resulting in a stalemate between the government and major trade union organisations inside Tunisia. The ruling party, led by Rachid Ghannouchi, refused to engage in this initiative due to the participation of the Call for Tunisia bloc – considered by Ennahda to be an alleged cover for remnants of the ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime aiming to overthrow democracy and electoral legitimacy.