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Tunisia's "ministers of missionaries" according to French TV

By Johnny Summerton
Posted Jan 19, 2011 in Politics
Houssine Dimassi and Abdeljelil Bedoui might not be names you recognise.
They're both Tunisians and were supposed to be members of the country's new unity government.
But they resigned, along with a fellow member of the Union générale tunisienne du travail (General Union of Tunisian Workers, UGTT) Anouar Ben Gueddour before the first cabinet meeting.
News outlets around the world of course reported their resignation, the reasons behind their decision and the possible impact it would have on Mohammed Ghannouchi's attempts to guide the country through the initial post-Ben Ali period.
French public television, France 2, carried a story on the men in its prime time news programme on Tuesday evening.
And it even kindly informed viewers of the jobs the men would not be filling; Dimassi as labour minister, Ben Gueddour as junior transport minister and Bedoui as minister without portfolio.
Except it didn't quite turn out that way as the names and positions flashed up at the bottom of viewers' screens.
Instead all three suddenly acquired rather an extraordinary title - that of "minister of missionaries" (ministre des missionnaires) rather than "minister who had resigned" (ministre démissionnaire).
Anchor David Pujadas was understandably not amused and, apparently having been informed of the mistake through his earpiece, stressed at the end of the report that the men "had resigned".
France 2 meanwhile hurriedly did the necessary editing for its online rebroadcast.
Too late though as screenshots were already circulating on the Net.

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