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€165 million of Italian funds for Tunisia between 2017 and 2020 (Giuseppe Conte)

Published the:  02/11/2018

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(TAP) – Italy will continue supporting Tunisia through different partnership programmes with investments of about €165 million since 2017 and till 2020, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday in Tunis.

As for swapping the Tunisian debts into projects, Conte highlighted his country’s willingness to invest them in development projects in sectors such as agriculture, if the situation in Italy allows.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Kasbah Palace in Tunis and at the end of his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Conte added that Tunisia and Italy will review ways to boost legal migration channels and to launch a repatriation programme of Tunisians in illegal situation by helping them create projects in the native regions.

For his part, Chahed indicated that Italy has approved funding an integrated development project in El Mohdadh delegation in Kebili such as the Rejim Maatoug pilot project.

Both sides further agreed to achieve a memorandum of understanding inked between both countries in 2017, a new funding line will also be created under form of a €50-million loan.

Italy will devote some €25 million as loans for the promotion of the education sector so as to improve infrastructure and school services such as construction, redevelopment and public school equipment, Chahed added.

The PM further voiced satisfaction at the agreement that will soon be inked between Tunisia and Italy for the promotion of electric transportation infrastructure and the electricity interconnection project between Tunisia and Italy (ELMED).

This €600-million project was validated by the European Commission, Chahed affirmed.

Besides, he recalled that the Italian initiative “ERASMUS” launched in 2017 has helped increase the number of university scholarships granted to Tunisian students from 72 during the previous school year to 180 during this current one.

Conte’s visit is part of strengthening bilateral partnership relations in different fields and reviewing the situation in Libya, especially as Italy is organising the International Conference on Libya on November 12-13 in Palermo