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France tightens border controls with Italy over the dispute

Border controls between France and Italy have been drawn again as a dispute arose between the two countries over a migration issue. The online edition of InfoMigrants reports this.

Over the weekend, French authorities decided to tighten police controls on their southeastern border with Italy. This decision was made after a diplomatic dispute between neighboring countries, caused by the refusal of the Italians to provide permission to moor the Ocean Viking rescue ship with migrants.

After the diplomatic row, France sent an additional 500 officers to carry out border checks at ten different border crossings with Italy.

As soon as this was done, the queues at the northern border crossing on the Italian side began to grow.

According to InfoMigrants, French European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone called France’s border with Italy “closed” and promised to introduce passport checks, not only for those who cross the border in cars but also for passengers on trains traveling between the two countries.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni, in turn, said that her country will no longer be the first to allow migrants to enter its territory, who is then rescued by private rescue boats.

Shortly after Prime Minister Meloni made this announcement, the Italian authorities refused to accept the four refugee rescue boats. In the end, the migrants who were on three ships landed ashore, and the fourth with 234 people on board – Ocean Viking – was stuck at sea for three whole weeks and did not wait for the “invitation” to enter the port. The Vikings began to move away from Italian waters and headed for France.

On Thursday morning, the French Interior Ministry announced that it was giving permission for the rescue ship Ocean Viking to dock in Toulon, in the south of the country, and condemned Italy’s decision. The French government regarded Italy’s refusal to accept Ocean Viking as unacceptable.

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