Outgoing Prime Minister Rutte had expected that the Tunisia Agreement would actually lead to fewer migrants arriving from Tunisia. Two months ago, he traveled to that country to negotiate the deal with Tunisian President Saied, his Italian colleague Meloni, and European Commission President von der Leyen.
Earlier today, NOS reported that the deal is mainly based on wishful thinking and that the agreements with Tunisia remain very vague. Moreover, the number of migrants coming to the EU via Tunisia has not decreased, but in fact has increased enormously.
Ruti says he “did not expect” that the numbers of people coming to Italy from Tunisia would remain so high. “Unfortunately, agreements have not been reached yet, but I was hoping that more agreements would be reached. That is simply not the case. You have to be very realistic about it, because the numbers are still high.”
The outgoing Prime Minister says he had hoped to achieve more than is now evident. He adds: “But I think it would be very useful for agreements to be reached and for Tunisia to ensure that these life-threatening crossings stop.”
Rutte says his “absolute conviction” is that agreements are necessary. “We will not be able to control the asylum issue if we are not prepared, and this sometimes takes longer than you want, to make agreements with countries like Tunisia.”
According to the outgoing Prime Minister, it is up to the European Commission to conclude agreements. He himself does not participate in the conversations. He added, “Ultimately, it is an agreement between the Commission and Tunisia, and I fully support that.”
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