Canada Coronavirus: Italy begins repatriation of Tunisian migrants

05:05  10 august  2020
05:05  10 august  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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italy - coronavirus - migrants -asylum-seekers-4.jpg. Valerio Muscella/TNH. Migrants often don’t know they have the same healthcare rights as Italian citizens, and some are afraid to come Just as the first large clusters of COVID-19 cases began to emerge in northern Italy , two migrant rescue ships

Officials have said that the migrants were found and tested negative for the coronavirus . Migrants wait to be transferred to Porto Empedocle from Lampedusa, in Sicily, Monday, Aug. Italy is currently dealing with a growing influx of migrants from Tunisia , which is putting a strain on migration centres.

Des migrants de Tunisie et de Libye arrivent à bord d'un bateau des garde-côtes sur l'île italienne de Lampedusa, le 1er août 2020. © Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP Migrants from Tunisia and Libya arrive aboard a coastguard boat on the Italian island of Lampedusa, August 1, 2020

Italy will start sending back to their country Tunisian migrants who have arrived illegally as of Monday, August 10. This move comes after the Italian authorities reported the massive arrival of Tunisian migrants, especially after the Covid-19 crisis hit the Tunisian economy hard. More than 4,000 Tunisians reached the Italian coast in July alone.

With our correspondent in Tunis, Lilia Blaise

The tension remains cordial but palpable between Tunis and Rome on the subject of clandestine migration. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on August 6 in a Facebook status that "Tunisia being considered a safe country and not a country at war", in his words, "repatriations" of illegal Tunisian migrants arrived on illegal boats, will begin this Monday, August 10 at a rate of 80 people per week, in agreement with the Tunisian authorities.

Covid-19 in Tunisia: the case curve is rising, the first death since June 17

 Covid-19 in Tunisia: the case curve is rising, the first death since June 17 © AFP / Fethi Belaid A Tunisian woman reunites with her family on arrival at Tunis airport, the day of the reopening of borders, June 27, 2020 More than a month after the opening of the borders, the number of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has increased tenfold in Tunisia.

Tunisia has rejected Italian demands that Italian security forces be stationed on Tunisian shores to prevent migrants setting out, but has pledged to step up border security, with Italy providing equipment and funding. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, announced during her first visit to

Berlusconi said the repatriation of Tunisians would happen in a "civilised fashion", stressing Italy 's strong ties with Tunisia . Italy 's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni will remain in Tunis on Tuesday to work out the final details of a binational accord on the immigration issue. The massive influx of migrants

On the Tunisian side, the national guard of the city of Mahdia, one of the main points of departure for candidates for exile, has announced a new security strategy with the intelligence services to further target smuggling networks. From August 6 to 8, authorities arrested nearly 23 smugglers in this area. Almost every month, more than a hundred arrests are carried out and nearly 50 illegal immigration attempts are aborted by the authorities according to official figures, with a marked increase in July.

President Kais Saied had however qualified the security approach by opting for a discourse on "collective" responsibility in the face of immigration. He spoke of the "Tunisian-Tunisian" problem, denouncing the inability of the political class to solve the socio-economic problems of the country since the revolution.

► To read also: Migrants: crossings are increasing from Tunisia

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SANT-CORONAVIRUS-GREAT BRITAIN: Coronavirus: Great Britain records 1,012 new cases of infection © Reuters / Simon Dawson CORONAVIRUS: GREAT BRITAIN RECORDS 1.012 NEW CASES OF INFECTION London (Reuters) - Britain on Saturday reported 1,012 new cases of new coronavirus infections, its fifth consecutive day above the 1,000 new cases per day mark. The total number of COVID-19 infections now stands at 317,379 in Britain.

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