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France blocks pro-migrant protest

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France blocks pro-migrant protest

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A long simmering row has erupted between France and Italy over the fate of North African migrants.

French authorities have blocked trains carrying migrants from Ventimiglia, the last Italian town before the southern border. The action was also taken to stop a demonstration in support of the migrants.

The issue has been a stumbling block between Paris and Rome since the Italian government recently announced it would give some migrants visa to enter Schengen member countries. Italy has called for European help to deal with a massive influx of refugees and illegal immigrants since the wave of unrest began in North Africa.

For its part, France has refused to accept what it considers illegal immigrants and has condemned Italy’s decision to grant temporary permits to migrants who declare they want to go elsewhere in Europe. Germany has now joined France in criticising Italy, accusing Rome of violating the spirit of Schengen’s open borders agreement.