Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Monday that “[i]f [the Tunisian Government] do[es] not send specific signals [and begin] keeping the promise of a commitment to stop the migration, Italy will proceed with the forced repatriations.” (“Se non manderà segnali concreti, mantenendo la promessa di un impegno per fermare i flussi migratori, l’Italia procederà con i rimpatri forzosi.”) Maroni also said “Tunisia had promised an immediate commitment to stop migration, but the boats continue to arrive. We are not subject to blackmail as with Libya for oil. [Tunisia is] dependent on us, especially in the tourism sector.”
Foreign Minister Frattini said that if Tunisian migrants do not agree to assisted returns to Tunisia, with the possible payment of €1500 using EU funds, “there is a second level of intervention for those who do not accept assisted repatriation, which is stated in the Bossi-Fini law: expulsion.”
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