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El País - Spain | Monday, April 18, 2011

Sarkozy's refugee policy raises EU doubts

French authorities temporarily blocked trains from Italy on Sunday in a bid to prevent Tunisian immigrants who have been granted temporary Shengen visas by Italy from entering the country. French President Sarkozy is on a cheap quest for votes which casts doubt on the very foundations of the EU, the left-liberal daily El País warns: "It is not difficult to link this measure that conflicts with the Schengen agreement on free circulation within the EU with President Nicolas Sarkozy's rapidly sinking popularity and the intense preparations for the presidential elections in 2012. ... The European Union is evidently not at its best right now, as its inane and largely rhetorical reaction to the democratic changes in the Arab world indicate. All this is causing the different states to act bilaterally and counter to the European construct, as in the case of the military intervention of France and the UK in Libya. If Schengen falls now we must start to ask why the union of 27 states exists at all."

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