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Italy: Tunisia needs urgent economic aid to prevent major migrant influx

24 marzo 2023 | 11.24
LETTURA: 1 minuti

Italy: Tunisia needs urgent economic aid to prevent major migrant influx

Urgent economic aid is needed for Tunisia to prevent its financial collapse and "hundreds of thousands" more migrants heading to Europe, Italy has warned, while underlining that the crisis-hit country must implement necessary reforms.

''Tunisia urgently needs help, we can't waste time. If the Tunisian 'front' opens up, hundreds of thousands of people could be on the move," Tajani told public broadcaster RAI's Radio Anch'io programme on Friday.

''I made a proposal during (Monday's) EU Foreign Affairs Council, namely, let's start giving aid to Tunisia, let's push it to make reforms,"Tajani stated.

"Let's give 300 million immediately, then check the reforms and give another 300 million, then another 300,'' said Tajani.

What is certain, Tajani said, is that ''we cannot waste time, otherwise we risk favouring the (Islamist) Muslim Brotherhood''.

"We have a duty to help Tunisia'," Tajani said.

Efforts to secure a 1.9 billion dollar IMF loan have been stalled for months by Tunisia's political upheavals since July 2021 when its president, Kais Saied seized most powers, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

Saied has never publicly supported an IMF bailout, making donors worried that he could backtrack on reforms once Tunisia received the loan or blame them for further economic pain resulting from government austerity measures.

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