IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE: GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS:
France and Italy push for reform of Schengen treaty
The leaders of France and Italy have said Europe's Schengen open-border treaty should be revised. The move by President Nicolas Sarkozy and PM Silvio Berlusconi comes after they met to discuss the recent rise in North African migration to Europe.
Italy has angered France by granting visas to thousands of migrants, allowing them to travel across Europe's border-free Schengen zone.
About 25,000 migrants have arrived in southern Italy so far during 2011.
Many have fled unrest in North Africa, and among them are thousands of Tunisians hoping to join relatives in France.
Both Mr Berlusconi and Mr Sarkozy are facing domestic pressure from right-wing parties to curb large-scale immigration.
The Schengen treaty allows legal residents of most EU countries, plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland to travel across the zone with only minimal border checks.
'Exceptional difficulties' The two leaders have jointly written to senior EU officials asking that the treaty be investigated.
"The situation concerning migration in the Mediterranean could rapidly transform into a crisis that would undermine the trust that our compatriots have in the [principle] of freedom of travel within Schengen," the letter says, according to excerpts published by German news agency DPA.It is necessary to "examine the possibility to temporarily re-establish controls within [Schengen] borders in the case of exceptional difficulties," the letter continues.
Speaking at a news conference in Rome after their meeting, Mr Berlusconi said neither Italy nor France wanted the treaty to end.
"But in exceptional circumstances, we both believe that there should be variations to the Schengen treaty, and we've decided to work on that together," he said.
In addition, he said there should be a "principle of solidarity" among European countries, and that southern states along the Mediterranean should not be left on their own to deal with the problems posed by mass immigration.
OF COURSE THE BIGGER PROBLEM IS WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE MUSLIMS ALREADY THERE WHO REFUSE TO ASSIMILATE - BECAUSE THEY INTEND TO COLONIZE AND TAKE OVER.
GEERT WILDERS KNOWS WHAT TO DO.