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Pressure Cooker

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The Italian government has put together a contingency plan to address a possible new wave of refugees coming from the South. Among the top priorities: Get the other EU member states on board.

Migrants are rescued by the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea in this September 2, 2015 handout courtesy of the Italian Navy. REUTERS/Italian Navy/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTX1QRD4

© REUTERS/Italian Navy/Handout via Reuters

The Balkan route is closed, and Italy – until 2015 the EU’s main point of entrance for migrants and refugees taking the highly dangerous sea route across the Mediterranean – fears it will feel the effects.

Since the beginning of the year, 24,000 refugees fled the North African coasts toward Italy, 9600 in March alone. If Austria closes its border with Italy at Brenner and Tarvisio, Italy will face the same situation Greece has found itself in. General Paolo Serra, security adviser to Martin Kobler, the head of the United Nations support mission in Libya, told the Corriere della Sera that a million refugees are ready to make the journey from Libya to Italy. And the daily La Stampa prominently ran a quote by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning, “Our country could become a pressure cooker without a release valve.” …

Read more in the Berlin Policy Journal App – May/June 2016 issue.

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