Italy offers Tunisia €105 million in aid to state budget

Italy said it will offer crisis-hit Tunisia 105 million euros in budget assistance and credit lines, as Rome looks to its North African southern neighbors to help curb an increasing number of migrant arrivals.

The news was announced to Reuters by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, who paid a visit to Tunis during which three other deals were signed.

Rome also offered Tunis €50 million in state cash to help it promote energy efficiency and renewables projects, the agency reported.

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

“We know that Tunisia cannot become the country of arrival for migrants and co-operation on this [matter] must be strengthened,” she said during her visit.

Tunisia’s president has fueled anti-migrant sentiment in the country when he spoke last year about the “great replacement” of Tunisians by Sub-Saharans.

The north African country has seen a surge in departures by local and sub-Saharan migrants willing to make the hazardous journey to Europe.