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14.12.2005 Diaspora (Italy)

VEEP asks Italy to ease travelling restrictions for Ghanaians

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 14, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Wednesday called for a treaty between Ghana and Italy to allow a special quota for Ghanaian immigrants to enter the European State legally every year. This he said would reverse the number of Ghanaians, who die alongside other African immigrants, who attempt to use unapproved means to enter that country.

Vice President Mahama made the suggestion during a meeting with Mr Fabrizo De Agostini, the Italian Ambassador. The number of African immigrants, who lose their lives on their long and desperate journey to Europe by road and sea through the desert to Morocco, where they are ferried on packed boats had always hit the headlines. He commended Italy for being very supportive of Ghana, and recalled the 10 million dollars food aid to Ghana this year and the immense role the European Union State had played in the Metro Mass Transport System.

Vice President Mahama also referred to the 42 million dollars debt cancellation Italy offered Ghana in June this year. He asked the Ambassador to invite more investors to the country, adding: " Trade and investment is key to promote jobs in Ghana." Mr Agostini said he welcomed the quota system that would enable economicaly productive Ghanaians to settle in Italy. He said the two countries should also cooperate in combating narcotic drugs and human trafficking. Mr Agostino said he was negotiating with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to provide a framework to promote Italian investments in Ghana. He said the bold economic policies of Ghana and national stability were good grounds to woo Italian investors.

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