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News > Italy

Italy Impose Border Controls With Slovenia

  • Border crossing between Italy and Slovenia, 2023.

    Border crossing between Italy and Slovenia, 2023. | Photo: X/ @tg2rai

Published 19 October 2023 (5 hours 9 minutes ago)
Opinion

"The suspension of the Schengen Treaty on free movement was necessary due to the worsening situation in the Middle East," PM Meloni said.

On Wednesday, Italy temporarily suspended the European Union's Schengen rules for open travel, reactivating dormant border controls with Slovenia amid heightened tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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As of late Wednesday, some other European Union (EU) states also announced similar moves, due to concerns over extremist violence and migration.

On the border between Italy and Slovenia, controls will begin on Oct. 21 and last for at least ten days. The Italian government said the goal is a "rapid return" to control-free border crossings, but the measure could nevertheless be extended.

The move is officially aimed at monitoring cross-border movements of people and freight, and it comes during a period of instability related to the current tension between Israel and Palestine.

"The suspension of the Schengen Treaty on free movement in Europe was necessary due to the worsening situation in the Middle East, the increase in migratory flows along the Balkan route, and above all for reasons of national security," Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said.

Slovenian Interior Minister Bostjan Poklukar has been informed of the decision. He underlined to Italy "the importance of the measure being temporary and proportionate," and that the border controls should remain "friendly toward our citizens so as not to break the cultural ties of friendship and family of those living along the border."

On Tuesday, Italy arrested two people suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State (IS). Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani downplayed the immediate threat of a terror attack in Italy, but said it was important for the country to remain vigilant.

On Monday, a gunman of Tunisian origin shot and killed two football fans in Brussels, sparking heightened security alerts across the EU.

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