Tunisian Prime Minister Hicham El Mechichi sacked Environment Minister Mustafa Laroui today, Sunday, following the disclosure of the file of the arrival of shipments of household waste from Italy without a license.
A brief government statement clarified that Al-Mashishi decided to assign the Minister of Equipment, Housing and Infrastructure, Kamal Al-Doukh, to supervise the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment, on behalf of him. The prime minister did not explain the reasons for the dismissal.
Earlier, the Ministry of Environment decided to open an administrative investigation after the arrival of 282 waste containers from Italy because it does not match the type of waste contained in the license of the private company for recycling that it imported, according to the director of the National Agency for Waste Management.
For his part, Bashir Yahya, director of the agency, said Thursday that customs in the coastal city of Sousse seized in June and July 70 “large” containers, followed by 212 other containers containing waste that were supplied by a Tunisian private company.
Yahya explained that this company obtained in May a license to recycle plastic waste and residues, and it became clear to customs that the licenses did not match the quality of the waste.
The authorities have been notified of the relevant ministries – according to Yahya – and the supply process has been halted and the containers are prevented from entering Tunisian territory, and the Ministry of Environment has opened an administrative investigation into the matter.
The authorities decided to return the containers to Italy in July, but they are still in the port of Sousse, according to the exporters.