The Italian government has appealed to the European Union for aid after an influx of about 6,000 Tunisians refugees arrived on Italian shores following the political upheaval in their homeland. Italy has declared a humanitarian crisis, and has asked the EU’s border enforcement agency, Frontex, to intervene. Meanwhile, Lady Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is in Tunisia to discuss the issue with the country’s interim administration. The Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, has suggested that Italian police be sent to Tunisia to help stem the tide of migrants to Italy. Economic conditions in Tunisia remain dire, and many seek to escape the extreme poverty by fleeing to Europe, despite the hopefulness that came from revolutionary uprising, which resulted in President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster.