Rutte had expected more from the Tunisia deal, ‘the numbers are still high’ Yesterday, 8:17 PM in Foreign Affairs, Politics Earlier today, the NOS reported that the deal is mainly based on wishful thinking and that the agreements with Tunisia are still very vague. Moreover, the number of migrants has increased explosively.

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Outgoing Prime Minister Rutte had expected that the Tunisia deal had already led to the arrival of fewer migrants from Tunisia. Two months ago he traveled to that country to negotiate the deal with Tunisian President Saied together with his Italian colleague Meloni and President Von der Leyen of the European Commission.

Earlier today, the NOS reported that the deal is mainly based on wishful thinking and that the agreements with Tunisia are still very vague. Moreover, the number of migrants coming to the EU via Tunisia has not decreased, but has actually increased explosively.

Rutte says he “didn’t expect” that the numbers of people coming to Italy from Tunisia would still be so high. “Unfortunately, the agreements have not yet been worked out, but I had hoped that more would be visible. That is simply not the case. You have to be very realistic about that, because the numbers are still high.”

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  • NOS/Sjoerd Mouissie
    The number of arrivals in Italy from Tunisia is increasing explosively.
  • NOS/Sjoerd Mouissie
    The number of arrivals in Italy is at the highest level since the migration crisis in 2016.

The outgoing Prime Minister says he had hoped for more than is now visible. “But I think it will help enormously if the agreements are worked out and that Tunisia will ensure that these life-threatening crossings stop,” he says.

Rutte says it is his “absolute conviction” that the agreements are necessary. “We will not get the asylum issue under control if we are not prepared, and that sometimes takes longer than you would like, to make agreements with countries like Tunisia.”

According to the outgoing Prime Minister, it is up to the European Commission to make the agreements. He himself does not participate in the conversations. “It is ultimately an agreement between the Commission and Tunisia and I fully support that.”

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