French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, on Wednesday, called on French tourists to return to Tunisia and take full advantage of their holidays in this “beautiful country”. Tourism is a driving element of the Tunisian economy and the security situation has improved considerably, he said at the end of his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. He is making a two-day official visit to France. Some 464,665 French tourists visited Tunisia in 2015, down 35.5% compared to 2014. France has been the leading European customer of Tunisia in terms of tourism since 2004. In an exclusive statement to TAP, France’s ambassador to Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor stressed his country’s determination to actively encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “This position is explained by the stabilisation of the political and security situation in Tunisia insofar as the danger of terrorism is largely controlled by the efforts exerted by the military and security institutions,” he said.
French PM Manuel Valls has ruled out the reparations for slavery in an article published as he toured three west African countries. Valls called instead for a students’ exchange program between Europe and Africa and a “memory that is shared and at peace”. Slavery was a “disaster on a grand scale”, he wrote, a “crime against humanity” as “France has fully acknowledged” in a law passed in 2001. But “memory should not divide. It should, on the contrary, close fractures and bring people together,” he went on, citing black anti-colonial writers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire to argue that slavery was “irreparable” and thus rule out financial reparations by the West.