Italy protests after France blocks trains to stop demos

17th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini directed his embassy in Paris Sunday to lodge a protest with France after it cancelled trains due to cross the border to thwart migration demonstrations.

Rome wanted "clarifications on measures taken (by Paris) which appear to be illegal and in clear violation of European principles," the minister said.

Frattini was reacting to France's decision earlier Sunday to cancel all passenger trains due to cross from Italy on the main line between the countries in order to thwart a protest against immigration controls.

A group of French and Italian activists had planned to board what they had dubbed "The Train of Dignity" in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia and cross into France to protest the measures.

Both Italy and France have been tightening immigration controls in recent weeks, fearing an influx of North African refugees from the revolutions and fighting in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

© 2011 AFP

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