Italy has launched an official protest against France amid an escalating row over the fate of North African migrants.
It comes after France closed its southern border to trains carrying migrants and political activists who support them.
Italy’s Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, says the migrants should be allowed to travel as they have been given documents in accordance with the rules of Schengen member states.
“They have temporary residence permits and we’ve given them everything they need. This has been recognised by the European Commission, so freedom of travel is possible for all those who want to go to France,” said Maroni.
For its part, France has refused to accept what it considers illegal immigrants. It has also now set up patrols on the Italian border; an unprecedented measure since the introduction of the Schengen travel-free zone in 1995.