This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Demographic Spillover from the Tunisian Revolt

Not everyone in Tunisia sees a bright future after the recent youth-led revolt that toppled the government--and I am not referring to President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who fled the country. Others are fleeing, as well, and are turning up as undocumented immigrants in the south of Italy.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Europe was not doing anything to help stop the flow of migrants, the Italian news agency Ansa reports.
More than 4,000 migrants are reported to have arrived on the island of Lampedusa in the past few days.
Italy has declared a humanitarian emergency and called for EU assistance.
Mr Maroni, who is a member of the anti-immigration Northern League party, said the Tunisian system was "collapsing".
"I will ask the Tunisian foreign ministry for permission for our authorities to intervene to stop the flow in Tunisia," Ansa quoted him as saying.
"Europe is not doing anything, I am very concerned," he said.Mr Maroni accused other EU states of leaving Italy to deal with the situation alone, despite the impact it could have on other countries.
According to the Migration Information Source, there were more than 50,000 Tunisians living in Italy in 2003 (the most recent year available) out of more than 250,000 Northern Africans in the country (immigrants from Morocco lead the list). Thus, there may be communities of Tunisians that can cushion the impact, and possibly absorb these immigrants, but it is not clear that they will necessarily find jobs in Italy any more easily than they were able to in Tunisia.

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