Italy and France ask EU to revise Schengen border treaty
Tuesday 26 April 2011
Italy and France asked the European Union today to revise the Schengen border treaty that permits passport-free travel through Europe to take into account "exceptional" situations like the recent massive flood of Tunisian immigrants.
France has harshly criticized Italy for granting temporary residency permits to some 20,000 Tunisian migrants who have arrived in Italy since the North Africa nation's dictator was overthrown in mid-January. Most Tunisians want eventually to get to France, Tunisia's former colonial ruler, where many have relatives.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said they had signed a joint letter to the EU during a summit on Tuesday and had appointed officials to work on the issue.
"We want Schengen to survive, but to survive Schengen must be reformed," Sarkozy told reporters after the meeting. "We believe in free circulation but we believe in a state of law and a certain number of rules."
Berlusconi said no one wanted to cancel the treaty but said "in exceptional circumstances we believe there must be variations."
France last week stopped a train carrying Tunisian immigrants from Italy at the French border, sending back those who could not support themselves financially.
The immigration dispute was a key topic of the summit, but French takeovers of Italian companies were also on the agenda. French dairy company Lactalis on Tuesday said it was making a €3.375 billion ($4.92 billion) bid for full control of Italian dairy giant Parmalat.
Berlusconi said he didn't consider the bid hostile and said he believed the French government was unaware of Lactalis' plans.
Separately, Sarkozy voiced support for Italian Central Banker Mario Draghi to become the new head of the European Central Bank. He said Draghi was a top candidate who would ably demonstrate "Italy's role in the EU."
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Working with a set process to achieve profitab...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a number ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Coordinator is required to join a...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A dynamic, customer oriented Pr...