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Tunisia’s problems in the medium and long term are in economics. People have a democracy, and that’s fine. But at the end of the day, a lot of the people who revolted wanted jobs, and it’s hard enough in Europe to create jobs let alone in Tunisia.

“They don’t have oil like Libya, so they are going to have to make it through hard work,” he added.

Yemen losing control

The situation is dire in Yemen, which has been in turmoil since protests began in early 2011. In February, President Ali Abdulah Saleh formally stepped down after 33 years in power.

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the former vice president, was the only candidate in a presidential election in February. He promised fundamental reforms, but Yeminis are complaining that too many of Mr. Saleh’s relatives or loyalists remain in the government.

“In Yemen, you have much more a limited transition, if you can even call it that. It’s more of a maneuver keeping things more or less in place,” said Mr. Salem.

“But the transition is only part of the story. Whatever happens in Yemen, they are not going to do well at all because they are collapsing as an economy and the state itself doesn’t have the resources to be a fully fledged state.”

Analysts say the government has lost control over many regions of the country, allowing resurgent terrorist groups such as al Qaeda to make inroads.

“That’s been the biggest problem, and all the factional fighting in Sanaa means there have been no serious attempts to deal with the militants in the south,” Leonie Northedge, a researcher on Yemen at the London-based think tank Chatham House.

“It’s going to be a very long progress, but there has been a political opening and a chance for change.”

Egypt held parliamentary elections in November, and parties aligned with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won nearly half of the 498 seats in the legislature.

Libyans still fighting

Meanwhile, in Libya militias continue to fight each other, while the Transitional National Council rushes to hold elections following the death of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi in October.

“What you have is an institutional wasteland, and now you have regions and tribes and militias who are fighting among themselves for the social, economic and military spoils war of all against all,” said Mr. Gerges.

“In contrast to Tunisia and Egypt, the process of state building will be very risky and prolonged. Unless the new ruling elite succeeds in creating a centralized authority, my fear is that it can easily spiral out of control and descend into chaos. The Libyan situation is much more volatile and severe.”

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