chapter  5
Stability, reform, and development in Tunisia’s economy
Pages 24

Habib Bourguiba stepped into independence with two central goals: to consolidate power and to lay the foundations for economic growth. These goals were intimately related. From the beginning of his career, Bourguiba's case to the Tunisian people relied heavily on economic issues. "Tunisian socialism" was never about an abstract political and economic philosophy. Bourguiba emphasized repeatedly that socialism in Tunisia was a very specific thing that had nothing to do with class conflict, Marxism, communism, or revolution. Bourguiba even ordered officials at the Central Bank to control the amount of money that the banks made available for Ben Salah's program. Nouira was a vocal advocate of a more liberal economic strategy. He had always opposed Ben Salah's socialism and he spent the 1960s at the head of Tunisia's Central Bank. Bourguiba put him there, in part, because he wanted Nouira to control the amount of money that the banks made available to Ben Salah.