Migrants stranded at Italy-France border

Dozens of migrants wake up at the Saint Ludovic border crossing between Italy and France after they were prevented from crossing the frontier.

SAINT LUDOVIC BORDER CROSSING BETWEEN VINTIMILLE, ITALY AND MENTON, FRANCE (JUNE 15, 2015) (REUTERS) – Scores of migrants woke up on Monday (June 15) after spending a night on the rocks along the Mediterrenean Sea at a border crossing between Italy and France.

They were prevented from entering menton in France from the northern Italian coastal town of Ventimiglia.

Italy is struggling to handle the summertime surge in migrants, with thousands rescued at sea each week and more than 50,000 so far this year. Almost 2,000 have drowned.

Some northern Italian regions have refused to take in more migrants sent from crowded official reception centres down south.

Most migrants who reach Italy – 170,000 last year – want to reach northern European countries, which have stronger economies and generous welfare benefits.

Under the Schengen treaty, free cross-border movement is normally allowed within most of the European Union but France and Austria have stepped up controls on migrants from Italy, turning back hundreds.

Many are camped out in railway stations in Rome and Milan.

Italy has long complained that its European partners are shirking their responsibilities and leaving southern Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece to handle the migrant emergency without effective support.