Interior Minister Matteo Salvini | Photo: ANSA
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini | Photo: ANSA

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has said he is not ruling out the possibility of erecting a border barrier in northeastern Italy.

Italian and Slovenian police forces will be jointly patrolling the area of Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulia region at the border with Slovenia as of Monday due to the growing number of migrants attempting to reach Italy through the Balkan route. 

However, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has mooted the idea of erecting a border barrier in northeastern Italy. 

''If the flow of migrants doesn't stop, then extreme evils require extreme remedies'', Salvini said. ''We don't rule out the construction of physical barriers at the border, like other European countries have done." 

Meanwhile, the governor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, Massimiliano Fedriga, has said he is ready to ''evaluate the possibility of asking the government to suspend Schengen'' rules. 

Friuli asks collaboration of Balkan countries 

The governor has urged countries along the Balkan route for ''full cooperation'' in controlling their borders, ''starting with Croatia''. The interior ministry has meanwhile announced that it will soon be holding a meeting with the governor and prefects to tighten security at the border. 

Debora Serracchiani, MP and member of the opposition Democratic Party (PD), said Salvini should be aware of ''whether there is an ongoing epochal change or whether the situation can be managed by boosting personnel'' on the ground. 

652 undocumented migrants apprehended at the border in first 5 months of 2019 

Over 100 undocumented migrants over the last few days were apprehended by police and Carabinieri officials between the city of Trieste and the nearby town of San Dorligo della Valle, which is close to the border with Slovenia. Nearly all of them were Pakistani nationals who requested international protection, officials said. 

Police officials also said they have arrested over the past few months a number of people who were allegedly helping migrants cross the border illegally. According to data provided by the Department of public security, 446 undocumented migrants were apprehended in areas close the Slovenian border in 2018. 

The undocumented migrants tracked down in the area in the first five months of 2019 were 652 and more were apprehended in the month of June, according to the same sources. Overall, arrivals from Slovenia have nearly doubled in the first semester of 2019 compared to the same period last year, they said. 

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