France is considering suspending the Schengen border-free travel agreement to block a massive rise in migrants from Tunisia and Libya.
A source close to President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said France wants to make it easier to set up temporary border controls. Sarkozy is due to address the issue when he meets Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on Tuesday.
Last weekend, France shut its borders to trains carrying African migrants from Italy, triggering a dispute between the two governments.
Although the Schengen area allows migrants to move freely, the European Commission said France’s move was legal for security reasons.
Italy said 26,000 migrants fleeing violence in Libya and unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, have arrived on its shores so far this year.