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Spain wants EC to monitor any Schengen suspensions

France-Italy pact augers change in passport-free zone

Spain is one of just three European Union members that have come out against the European Commission's proposal to temporarily close borders among the Schengen nations when countries have problems controlling the flow of migrants.

Malta and Belgium stood alongside Spain last Thursday in Brussels when the interior ministers of 27 nations met and voted to change the rules of the passport-free area.

The decision came after a pact was sealed between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to deal with the migrant crisis caused by the arrival of about 30,000 refugees from Tunisia on Italy's southernmost island, Lampedusa.

While the ministers agreed that the Schengen borders could be closed under exceptional circumstances and with strict conditions, the majority of them, including Spain, want the EC to decide on and supervise the closures to avoid nations taking unilateral decisions.

More information
Spain comes out against reform plans for Schengen

Last week, Denmark caused a stir when it decided to re-establish passport checks on its borders with Germany and Sweden without consultation.

Spanish government officials say that they are concerned that they may be left to fend for themselves if the Pyrenees border is closed should Spain be hit by another wave of African migrants.

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