On 27 January 2017, the Council extended until 31 January 2018 a freeze on the assets of 48 persons deemed to be responsible for the misappropriation of state funds in Tunisia and those persons and entities associated with them.
The sanctions were initially introduced on 31 January 2011, targeting former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his wife and 46 other persons. The Council considered that the misappropriation of state funds is depriving the Tunisian people of the benefits of the sustainable development of their economy and society and undermining the development of democracy in the country. Those restrictive asset-freezing measures have been renewed every year since 2011.
The decision will be published in the Official Journal of the EU on 28 January 2017. It was adopted without debate by the Council of Ministers, meeting in the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).