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Tunisian National Strike Averted After Deal

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) â¿¿ Tunisia's government has reached an agreement with the country's leading labor union to avoid a nationwide strike over economic woes and power disputes.

Government spokesman Ridha Kazdaghli told The Associated Press that the agreement was reached Tuesday after daylong negotiations. He would not give details.

The deputy head of the UGTT union, Belgacem Ayari, was quoted by the state news agency as saying the talks were "positive" and allowed both sides to defuse the crisis.

The UGTT had planned nationwide strikes Thursday.

Disputes between the moderate Islamist-led government and the union have led to rioting. Many Tunisians accuse the ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, of doing too little to reduce unemployment and curb police abuses.

Similar complaints drove Tunisia's revolution two years ago, which set off uprisings across the Arab world.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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