File - Inhabitants of the village of the southeastern Tunisian town of Ben Guerdane march during a general strike on March 31, 2014 after the closure of the Tunisia-Libya border. (AFP PHOTO / JAWED NASRI)
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Anger has been brewing in Tunisia's smuggling hub of Ben Guerdane since the closure of its main border crossing stemmed the contraband Libyan petrol trade that fuels the local economy.Trafficking has flourished in Tunisia in the aftermath of its 2011 revolution, while lawlessness has been rife in oil-rich Libya following its own revolt the same year.In a report published in December, the World Bank estimated that informal trade with both Libya and Algeria cost Tunisia at least 600 million euros ($828 million) annually in lost revenues.Petrol reaps the biggest reward, with a liter bought in Libya at around 8 cents going for around 50 cents ($0.69) in Tunisia, still 30 percent less than at the pump.Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, whose technocrat administration was appointed two months ago, pledged to eliminate trafficking and parallel trade during a visit to the southeast region in early March.
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