(AGI) Naples, Oct 28 - The Tunisian elections sent "an important message. The country that opened the Arab Spring now tells us that its democratic path is irreversible", Romano Prodi said on Monday night in Naples for the 10th anniversary of the Anna Lindh Foundation. "The elections were open, democratic and with a high percentage of voters," said the former President of the European Commission. Mr Prodi pointed out that not all the Arab world "is like Tunisia", but he hoped that "this process is contagious even if we admit that we're not near that". The Tunisian democratic path, in his view, however, "is irreversible". However, he was not optimistic about the possibility of this result marking a turning point in EU policies towards the countries of the Mediterranean. "I honestly do not think that will change," he told reporters. "We need to awaken a political sensitivity that's not easy at a time when Europe has many internal problems." The EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy sees Tunisia as a "good example".
"There has been dialogue within the society. It could be contagious. Other countries may follow that example," he continued. "Democratic elections are possible in the countries of the Arab world," said President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, Andre' Azoulay. "It may seem trivial but it isn't. In the newspapers until two days ago all columnists expected a victory for the Islamist party. I hope that the outcome of these elections makes us understand that countries are not clones of others, that there is complexity in the Arab world. It is not just black and white," he added. .
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The Anna Lindh Foundation is co-funded by the European Union and the 42 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the position of the EU or any UfM Member State.