Tunisia declared on Monday that marine guards had stopped 19 boats transporting a total of 246 people trying to pass from the North African nation to Europe overnight just Saturday to Sunday. The interior ministry reported that the majority of those intercepted were Tunisians, and only 29 people came from other countries.
Actually, thousands of people risk daily by crossing from North Africa’s coasts to arrive in Europe. For Tunisia, which is a small Mediterranean country with a population of around 11 million, there is a clear reduction in the number of people trying to cross in a dangerous way in 2011.
However, the number started increasing again in 2017, partially due to the stressed economy and deep variations in the country, after almost a decade of the revolution that a lot of people expected would make a change.
In fact, Tunisia is now fighting the high percentage of unemployment and political weakness, and measures to stop the propagation of the novel coronavirus also affected its economy.
According to interior ministry figures, about 8,580 people have been intercepted when they attempt to cross the Mediterranean from the country’s coasts this year, while three-quarters of them were Tunisians. Indeed, several try to arrive in Italy that has been fighting to deal with quotidian arrivals of hundreds of people to its southern coasts, and it declared last month some plans to repatriate Tunisian migrants.