Italy-Tunisia

Italy's mission to stem the migrant flow

Published on 4 April 2011 at 11:30

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“With a healthy dose of hope and money (up to 300 million euros in aid),” the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his Interior Minister Roberto Maroni arrived in Tunis on April 4 to present “Italy’s plan for the migrants”, headlines the Corriere della Sera. They will try to persuade the interim government to accept the return from Italy of hundreds of immigrants from Tunisia, the newspaper reports. Berlusconi hopes this way to ease tensions with his allies in the Northern League, who reject the idea of sending on to other EU countries the north Africans who have arrived illegally in recent weeks, a step that would amount to “amnesty.” In recent days thousands of migrants have been transferred from the island of Lampedusa to the mainland, but dozens of them have escaped from a detention centre in Puglia. Berlusconi has also agreed with Nicolas Sarkozy to hold a Franco-Italian summit on ​​immigration, a “first stage of reconciliation” after the diplomatic cooling that followed France’s intervention in Libya, according to Corriere.

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