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Italy MEP condemns EU’s support for 'eroding democracy' in Tunisia

September 13, 2023 at 11:22 am

The Vice-President of the European Parliament Fabio Massimo Castaldo on February 15 , 2020 in Rome, Italy [Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

An Italian member of the European Parliament (MEP), Fabio Massimo Castaldo, has criticised the European Union’s policy towards Tunisia, which he said is witnessing an “erosion of democracy”.

Castaldo said yesterday that “despite the numerous condemnations from the European Parliament regarding the authoritarian drift of Tunisian President Kais Saied, the memorandum of understanding between our Union and Tunisia was ratified last June, which was celebrated as a milestone in strengthening this… partnership.”

As Tunisian democracy erodes more and more every day, it is our duty to ask ourselves who are the allies we want on our side, and what red lines must be drawn, especially when it comes to human lives

he continued.

He added, “But before looking at other people’s homes, we must take into account what is happening within our union. Indeed, we cannot allow the will of some governments, including unfortunately the Italian government, to deal with the phenomenon of migration in an instrumental, evil and completely disrespectful manner for human rights, to dictate their agenda to Europe,” said Castaldo.

READ: Migration rates from Tunisia to Italy increase despite EU deal

He pointed out that “a few days after the signing of the agreement between the European Union and Tunisia, the Italian government held a conference on migration, describing the memorandum of understanding as: the beginning of a different relationship.”

“If by different we mean an approach based on the collective forced repulsion of migrants, who are returned to the desert, without water or food, as often happens in Tunisia, thus repeating the mistakes and horrors of the Berlusconi-Gaddafi agreement, then we will no longer be able to talk about the future, but only about returning to the darkest pages of our history.”