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Italy offers Tunisia $112m in state cash, credit facility

April 17, 2024 at 3:22 pm

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni speaks during the opening session of the Italy-Africa conference in Rome, Italy, on January 29, 2024 [Riccardo De Luca – Anadolu Agency]

Italy will help Tunisia with €105 million ($111.7 million) in state cash and credit lines, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office said today, part of Rome’s efforts to boost economic ties with African countries and curb irregular immigration to Europe, Reuters reports.

“Energy is one of the matters on which the collaboration between Italy and Tunisia must continue to strengthen,” Meloni said following a meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied.

As part of several agreements, Rome offered Tunis €50 million ($53.2 million) in state cash to help it promote energy efficiency and renewables projects, an official from Meloni’s office said.

Another deal envisages a credit facility of €55 million ($58.6 million) aimed at supporting small and medium-sized Tunisian firms, he added.

Meloni also said Rome wanted to do more to encourage regular migration in the wake of last year’s agreement to allow into Italy around 12,000 skilled Tunisian workers over three years.

“I think Italy can also do a lot more,” she said.

From January to 17 April about 16,000 migrants, including 2,224 from Tunisia, arrived in Italy, compared with more than 34,000 in the same period last year, according to Italian interior ministry data.

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