When France established a protectorate over Tunisia at the end of the XIX century, the Italian Government was so angered that it joined the Central Empires in the great game of alliances which would lead Europe to the Great War. Indeed in 1914 only an incensed public stopped Italy from entering the war on the same side of its historical enemy, Austria-Hungary.
Tunisia is a gun aimed at Sicily, and France used to have a highly strategical naval base in Bizerte.
Its importance for Italy is now huge with Libya infiltrated by the Islamic State and a democratic Government in Tunis. The Italian press is underlining that Tunisia is the only really successful outcome of the Arab Spring, and the only alternative to an Arab world dominated by Islamist fanatics or by old school dictators.
In the Italian edition of the Huffington Post, Executive Editor Lucia Annunziata wrote that the attacks in Tunisia – during which four Italian citizens were killed with the involvement of an Italian cruise ship – will speed up an Italian intervention in Libya.