Italian police in Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia. Credit: ANSA
Italian police in Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia. Credit: ANSA

The Italian authorites have stepped up law enforcement controls in border areas in the northeastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia to prevent migrants from entering the country. The new law was implemented on Monday morning in response to an increase in migration flows during the summer.

The measures were drawn up during a meeting in Trieste attended by top local police officers. Checkpoints will be in operation in border areas 24 hours a day for approximately 20 days with police stopping cars and people suspected of facilitating illegal immigration.

Balkan route back in spotlight 

The operation focuses on prospective migrants arriving along the so-called Balkan route from Greece to central and northern Europe. "This is the right path towards ensuring the safety of our residents and reducing pressure on the local territory, which is already strongly tested by thousands of asylum seekers," said Friuli Governor Massimiliano Fedriga. "The fruitful dialogue with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, the excellent relationship with Slovenia and the precious and timely contribution from law enforcement have led to the strengthening of controls," he continued. 

Reinforcements from other regions 

Over 30 law enforcement officers are set to arrive in Gorizia from Milan and Bologna and others again in Trieste from Padua and Florence to boost the operation. The opposition Democratic Party has described the controls as a "publicity stunt that has already been seen in other circumstances," claiming that they will make no difference to irregular migration on a structural level".

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