Italian FM in Tunis, then to visit Craxi grave in Hammamet

Daughter Stefania calls visit ‘a political sign’

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano is in Tunis on Thursday for institutional meetings with Tunisian President Beji Kaid Essebsi, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, and Foreign Minister Khemaies Joinaoui, but outside of his official schedule he will also visit Hammamet to mark the 17th anniversary of the death of former Italian Socialist Party leader and premier Bettino Craxi.

“It’s the first time that a minister from a Democratic Party-led government is coming to the commemoration; it’s a political sign,” said Craxi’s daughter Stefania, who served as undersecretary of foreign affairs in the third Berlusconi administration.

She said she took the opportunity to invite Alfano to the ceremony, knowing that he would be in Tunisia on a state visit.

The first ministers to break the taboo on paying tribute to the grave of the Socialist leader who died in Hammamet in 2000 were three from the third Berlusconi administration 10 years ago.

Former Socialists Franco Frattini, Maurizio Sacconi and Renato Brunetta said they made the visit “as a personal choice”.

“The time has come to weigh the history of what Craxi did for the country, and also the mistakes, including the mistakes of a certain reformist left that never wanted to take (that history) into account,” Stefania Craxi said.

“To all of the moralists of Italy, I answer with the words of my father: ‘A man does his duty, no matter the personal consequences, the obstacles, the dangers or the pressures. This is the base of all human morality.’ And Craxi always did his duty,” she said.

Prior to his visit to Hammamet, Alfano’s morning institutional meetings will focus on the issues of migration, Libya and the fight against terrorism.

The foreign ministry said Alfano’s visit is an opportunity to affirm common views between the countries as well as the Italian government’s support for the Tunisian government and its people, protagonists in the only example of success from the Arab Spring.

Alfano will also visit the Bardo Museum to pay tribute to the victims of the March 18,2015 terrorist attack, in which four Italians died.



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