Italy on Wednesday announced it will suspend an open-border agreement with neighboring Slovenia, citing an increased threat of terrorism in Europe due to violence in the Middle East.
Premier Giorgia Meloni’s far-right-led government said authorities in the northeastern border region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia had identified 16,000 people so far this year who had entered Italy illegally across the Slovenian border, the last stop on the Balkan route that some migrants take to enter western Europe. That is in addition to the 140,000 migrant arrivals in Italy by sea, an increase of 85% over 2022.
The government said in a statement that the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism committee was looking into the situation, which “confirms the necessity of” reinforcing Italy’s border.
Italy said it would resume border controls starting Oct. 21 for 10 days.
Italy and Slovenia are among 27 countries that belong to the Schengen area, the world’s largest free travel zone.