Correspondent Field Notes: “Tunisian Refugees”

From Correspondent Willem Marx:
I arrived in Marseille over the weekend, hoping to track down some of the
thousands of Tunisian refugees who have arrived in France since the
revolution that rocked their homeland in January. I found dozens of them in
the public parks of this cosmopolitan Mediterranean city, living out in the
open and surviving on very little food. Their entry from Italy precipitated
a diplomatic spat earlier this month, when French authorities ordered that
trains running from the Italian border town of Ventimiglia should be halted
at the border, and the pan-European visa scheme known as the Schengen
agreement be temporarily suspended and examined.

Tomorrow President Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi will be meeting in
Rome to discuss the influx of Tunisian refugees. I’ll meanwhile be filming
on the two countries’ border, interviewing more young Tunisian men as they
prepare to sneak into France. Later in the afternoon I’ll be flying down to
the isolated Italian outcrop of Lampedusa, just 70 miles from the coast of
Africa, where more than 26,000 Tunisians have arrived since the start of the

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