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Tunisian Migration to Italy Down 20 Percent

The number of Tunisian irregular migrants arriving in Italy fell by 20 percent in the first eight months of 2023 compared with the same period the previous year.

According to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, 9,283 Tunisian nationals reached Italian shores on dinghies from early January to Aug. 31 this year, while 11,172 made the same crossing in the same period last year.

In August 2023 alone the number of Tunisian migrants arriving in Italy fell to 3,196, compared with 4,284 in the same month in 2022.

The number of Tunisian minors arriving in Italy from early January to Aug. 31 stood at 2,467 against 2,482 during the same period in 2022.

A total of 678 Tunisian women arrived on Italian shores in the first eight months of the year compared with 614 during the same period in 2022.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said the figures “are a result of the joint action of the police and Tunisian Coast Guard, which will be intensified thanks to the funds coming from the EU” under an agreement in July to boost trade relations and stem migrant departures from the African country to Europe.

Under the deal, the EU provides cash to Tunis in exchange for stronger border controls.

Speaking in the Italian Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, Tajani said Tunisian authorities “arrested traffickers, seized boats and prevented thousands of departures and therefore of potential deaths at sea.”

He added that Italy seeks “rapid and full implementation of the memorandum with the EU,” and “wants to contribute to ensure a good future for the Tunisian people.”

Source: Arab News

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