Italy is thinking about removing thousands of migrants from the country, in what has been described as a “nuclear option,” which would involve issuing temporary visas to allow migrants to travel out of Italy into other European Union countries, essentially granting them free movement through the continent.
Over 101,417 migrants have crossed from Africa into Europe during 2017, and almost 85 percent have arrived in Italy.
“If migrants continue to arrive and Italy decides to give them papers to cross borders and leave Italy it would be a nuclear option,” said Mattia Toaldo, a senior analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “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.’”
“Letting migrants travel once they reach Italy would create a real problem for our EU neighbors,” added Luigi Manconi, an Italian senator in the ruling Democratic Party. “But I hope it would force France to confront the migrant problem head on.”
The Daily Caller reports:
The Italian government has threatened to close its ports for foreign ships if other EU countries don’t help out.
Senior Italian officials told The Times Saturday that the government has discussed exploiting European Council Directive 2001/55, which was created after the war in former Yugoslavia to give temporary protection to displaced people.
With 200,000 migrants in detention centers across Italy, such a solution could put immense pressure on neighboring countries as the visas would allow them to travel freely across the Schengen Area.