German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses delegates at the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) at Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany, on Februrary 18, 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Friday with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to send back 1,500 illegal Tunisian immigrants from Germany and pledged $15 million in support for them, agencies reported.
During a meeting in the capital Tunis, Merkel pledged $250 million in support for development projects and vocation training in poor areas across the country.
“We will help Tunisians who wish to voluntarily return [to their country] and open a consulting centre for immigration issues, for which we have specifically earmarked 12 million euros,” Anadolu news agency reported Merkel as saying in a joint press conference with Essebsi.
According to Reuters, Merkel told Tunisia she wanted to speed up return of failed asylum-seekers after a Tunisian drove a truck through a German Christmas market in December and killed 12 people.
She also said: “The youth in Tunisia need opportunities and we are here for this reason.”
More than 258 German companies are currently conducting business in Tunisia and they currently offer employment opportunities to some 6,660 Tunisian workers.
The Tunisian Chamber of Commerce said that 54 new German investment projects were created between 2011 and 2015, in addition to 81 that were already in existence before this time.
Merkel’s visit to Tunisia came two weeks after a two-day visit of the Tunisian Prime Minister to Berlin as he discussed several issues with German officials, and in particular the issue of illegal immigrants.
(Source / 05.03.2017)