6/7/12, "EU states prepare rules for suspending visa-free travel," Reuters, Chicago Tribune
"European Union governments would be able to suspend passport-free travel in parts of Europe for as long as two years under regulations proposed on Thursday to address concerns over large-scale immigration.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU home affairs ministers agreed on new rules that would allow countries to reintroduce border controls if one state persistently failed to stop illegal migrants from entering Europe's Schengen zone....
The proposed rules will have to win backing from the European Parliament before they can become law....
One country that could come under increased scrutiny is Greece which regularly faces criticism for failing to protect its border with Turkey.
The EU's border agency Frontex says it recorded more than 60,000 migrants crossing into Greece last year illegally, mostly people from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Greece's dire economic problems have also focused attention in Europe on a possible surge of Greeks or other Europeans seeking financial security outside their own countries.
Britain, for example, is drawing up emergency immigration controls to combat any surge in economic migrants from Greece and other EU countries if the euro collapses, its interior minister said last month.
Last year, 23,800 Greeks migrated to Germany alone, 90 percent more than the previous year, German data show.
Debates over immigration has heated up in Europe over the past year after popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa led hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge from violence. Many attempted to cross into Europe....
Schengen involves all 27 EU countries apart from Britain, Ireland and Cyprus. Romania and Bulgaria have complied with the treaty and are expected to join it soon. Outside the EU, the zone includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein." via Free Republic