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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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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Saturday, April 23, 2011

France Is Unhappy as Tunisian Refugees Move North

The upheavals in Tunisia and Libya have already produced tens of thousands of refugees, as I have already noted. Those going to Europe have mainly shown up in Italy, since that is the closest country and is the shortest trip across the Mediterranean. Recently, the Italian government has granted many of these people temporary residence status, which allows them to leave Italy and go to many of the other European countries. If you have been to Europe since the creation of the European Union you know that you are not asked for your passport as you go from one country to the next. You can travel freely throughout much of Europe once you get past that first gatekeeper. This has created some problems for France, according to the BBC:

Italy's decision to grant Tunisians 20,000 temporary residence permits, allowing free travel in the passport-free Schengen zone, has angered France.
Last week, French officials temporarily stopped trains with migrants crossing the border from Italy into France.
The decision sparked anger between Italy and France, with Italy accusing its neighbour of overstepping the treaty on border-free travel.
Earlier this month, Italy and France agreed to launch sea and air patrols to try to prevent the influx of thousands of people from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Many Tunisians have close ties with France - a former colonial power - with friends and relatives in French cities.
This is a reminder that that there can be many long-term demographic ripple effects from "regime change" anywhere in the world.

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