While celebrating the downfall of their country’s long-time autocratic leader, Tunisian communities across Europe have also been voicing concern about the violence and power vacuum.
Demonstrators took to the streets of former colonial power France.
“I have family in Tunisia and the situation is catastrophic,” said Franco-Tunisian Ines Hasni in Marseille. “There is no government for the moment. It is chaos. The people were muzzled for 23 years, Today they feel free but not necessarily in the right way.”
Switzerland saw smaller but equally passionate celebratory rallies. Yet there, too, fears were expressed about the post-Ben Ali era.
“We don’t want a government with representatives of the old regime, who supported and managed the politics imposed by this President-General,” said human rights campaigner Afif Ghanmi on the streets of Lausanne. “We demand a temporary government with forces who have truly never collaborated and who will strive to ensure women and young people have an existence in Tunisia today.”
Some 200 people demonstrated in front of Tunisia’s embassy in Berlin. One man said it was a new beginning, just like the fall of the Berlin Wall was for the German people.