Italy signs agreement to welcome migrant workers from Tunisia

Italy signed an agreement on Friday to take in some 4,000 Tunisian workers, in line with its promises to help the North African state stem the pressure of migrants at its borders.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani to Tunis, where he was due to meet his counterpart Nabil Ammar and President Kais Saied, his office said.

It provides for regular migration channels for “skilled workers” wishing to come to Italy, according to an Italian news note. Rome has also promised to help Tunisia in its efforts to put an end to migrant traffickers and create job opportunities for young people.

“Tunisia is exposed to strong migratory pressure, particularly from sub-Saharan countries, and is the leading country for repatriations from Italy,” said the Italian document, adding that 1,615 migrants had returned there since the beginning of the year.

Migrant arrivals by sea in Italy have almost doubled in 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, with around 140,000 people landing so far. Around 91% of these are from Tunisia, prompting Rome to help local authorities stem the flow.

Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Piantedosi, urged the European Union on Tuesday to adopt an agreement to support the African state’s efforts to halt migrant boat departures.


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