Leading Euroskeptics have started to actively blame the Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel between many European Union states, due to incident with the trip of Anis Amri, the suspect of committing the terrorist attack in Berlin.
Shortly after Anis Amri, the suspect of committing the terrorist attack with usage of a truck in Berlin, was killed by Milan police, it became known that according to railway tickets, found on his body, Amri had traveled from Chambery, located in south-eastern France, to Turin and then to Milan, the Italy’s Ansa news agency reported. It is enough strange, as according to Milan police, he had virtually nothing else, except of ticket stubs, few personal belongings and a small knife in his backpack, as well as several hundred euros. Amri did not have cell phone, documents and other arms.
“He was a ghost, he didn’t leave a trace,” Milan police Chief Antonio De Iesu said.
In any case, the new details of the Amri’s trip mean that the most wanted man of Europe traveled unhindered through at least three countries: Germany, France and Italy before was gunned down in northern Italy.
As a result, attention has shifted to tactical blunders by the German police, as Amri slipped through their fingers.
In addition, this morning, before the death of the terrorist was announced, a senior police source told the Bild tabloid that German police believes that Amri is “either in Berlin or in North Rhine-Westphalia.” After this the Daily Mail newspaper wrote that “blundering German police today said they believed the Tunisian asylum seeker was still in or around Berlin just before he was shot dead almost 1,000 miles away in Milan. Officers have been raiding addresses across Germany in the hunt for Amri, but after arresting the wrong man the ISIS terrorist was able to flee the country.”
Against the background of these events, another target of Eurosceptics has emerged: Europe’s passport-free travel, the Schengen Area, which allowed Amri to cross two international borders without as much as a question. As a result, the Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel between many European Union states, has been blamed by leading Eurosceptics.
“This escapade in at least two or three countries is symptomatic of the total security catastrophe that is the Schengen agreement,” Marine Le Pen, the leader of the France’s far-right National Front party, said.
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage, a former leader of UKIP wrote on his Twitter: “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.”
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.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 23, 2016
It is still unknown if this incident will be enough to end the Schengen Area customs-union, or maybe the Amri’s attack should be followed by one or more similar terrorist attacks in the coming weeks to force Europe to crackdown on passport-free travel. Most likely, it will also have significant consequences for the 2017 German elections, where despite the recent snafus, Merkel is still seen as a big favorite to win.