Italy Considers 'Nuclear Option' To Ease Growing Migrant Crisis

A demonstrator carries wire representing border razor wire fences as he marches with others during a protest in support of migrant people seeking to enter Europe in Madrid Saturday

Italy Considers 'Nuclear Option' To Ease Growing Migrant Crisis

Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria's deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, and the reactivating of border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two European Union nations with a "nuclear option". More than 86,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy this year.

France and Austria have used dogs and the threat of armored vehicles to push back migrants who try to enter their countries after leaving Italy.

Italy is considering, issuing temporary visas to migrants, which would allow almost 200,000 migrants living in the country to move north towards Austria and Germany.

Speaking to The Times, Mr Giro and Luigi Manconi, a senator with the ruling Democratic Party, confirmed that the temporary visas are under discussion.

With 200,000 migrants in detention centers across Italy, such a solution could put vast pressure on neighboring countries as the visas would allow them to travel freely across the Schengen Area.

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.

Albero Panfilio, mayor of the Italian city of Cona, told AFP that the camps where migrants are placed are akin to "a human warehouse". While the flows of new migrants arriving in Europe have somewhat dried since its peak in 2015, when more than a million arrived in Europe mostly via the Turkey-Greece route, the flow has been increasing again this year. The asylum seekers were "treated like garbage", he added.

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