PARIS Dec 23 Leading eurosceptics were quick on
Friday to blame open European borders under the Schengen pact
for allowing the fugitive sought for the Berlin Christmas market
attack to travel into France and on to Italy, where he was
stopped and shot dead.
Italy's interior minister said the man killed in a pre-dawn
shootout with police in a suburb of the northern city of Milan
was "without a shadow of a doubt" Anis Amri, 24, a Tunisian
suspected of driving the truck that smashed through the market
on Monday, killing 12 people.
A judicial source told Reuters that a rail ticket found on
Amri's body indicated he had travelled by high-speed train from
France to the northern Italian city of Turin. Amri then caught a
regional train to the Milan suburbs.
"This escapade in at least two or three countries is
symptomatic of the total security catastrophe that is the
Schengen agreement," said Marine Le Pen, who leads France's
far-right, anti-immigrant National Front party.
"I reiterate my pledge to give back France full control of
its sovereignty, its national borders and to put an end to the
consequences of the Schengen agreement," added Le Pen.
She is stepping up her presidential campaign for the 2017
elections in France, with opinion polls currently showing her
going through to the second round, although they also show her
eventually losing to conservative candidate Francois Fillon.
Le Pen's comments were echoed by anti-EU British politician
Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Independence
"If the man shot in Milan is the Berlin killer, then the
Schengen Area is proven to be a risk to public safety. It must
go," Farage said on his official Twitter feed.
The European Union's 31-year-old Schengen open-borders
accord allows passport-free travel between continental EU
states - except for newer members Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia
- as well as Switzerland.
But some EU countries reimposed selective border checks last
year to help come to grips with a large influx of migrants
fleeing war and deprivation in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Mark Heinrich)