Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse'
17-07-2017, 02:10

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Italian government officials have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to deal with Italy's escalating migrant and refugee crisis that would allow new arrivals to travel north.

In what has been described as a 'nuclear option,' Italian government officials have threatened to allow 200,000 migrants who enter the country to travel across Europe by using a Brussels directive, The Times reports. 

Italy has previously called on its EU neighbours to help with the escalating humanitarian crisis but it has been disappointed by their lack of action.

 

Due to its geographic location, Italy has been one of the first entry points  for people fleeing from the south to reach Europe. 

More than 86,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy already this year.

Italy has been struggling to cope with a huge increase in people fleeing north Africa.

 

Hundreds of asylum seekers are now packed into overcrowded centres in small villages throughout the country which have been dubbed 'human warehouses' by locals.

Mattia Toaldo, a senior analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told The Times: 'If migrants continue to arrive and Italy decides to give them papers to cross borders and leave Italy it would be a nuclear option.

'Italians have lost any hope of getting help from the EU and may say, 'If you won't make it a common challenge, we will.'  

 

Mario Giro, the deputy foreign minister, and Luigi Manconi, a senator with the ruling Democratic Party, told The Times that issuing migrants with temporary visas was under discussion. 

Mr Giro believes that Italy can exploit European Council Directive 2001/55, developed after the Balkans conflict to give temporary European entry permits to a large number of displaced people.

If Italy does pursue this course of action, support for the Schengen scheme, which allows all EU citizens to travel freely across the Continent, may be in jeopardy.

 

It may also seriously escalate tensions with neighbouring France and Austria, which have used dogs and the threat of armoured vehicles to push back migrants who try to enter by that route previously.

France 24 reports that vast white tents erected in a former military zone on the outskirts of the tiny village of Conetta, house some 1,400 men from across Africa, packed onto endless rows of bunks.

And even when they escape the tent confines they are often encounter hostile banners calling for them to leave as tensions mount in the country.

 

 

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SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea's leader has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he watches U.S. actions a little longer, the North's state media said on Tuesday, as South Korea's president said Seoul would seek to prevent war by all means.

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