05:27 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Swiss border guard hands out leaflets informing drivers crossing into Switzerland at Bardonnex

    Airtight: Swiss Throw Up Plastic Fence on Italy Border

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    With border fences popping up all across Europe, the Swiss authorities have decided to put their own two cents in by shuttering three border crossings with Italy for the night as part of a six-month experiment “to combat cross-border crime.”

    Since Saturday, April 1, the crossing points at Pedrinate, Novazzano-Marcetto and Ponte Cremenaga in Como and Varese provinces will be closed and barred from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

    The Swiss explained their decision by the need to clamp down on “thefts in the canton carried out by Italians or by persons coming from Italy” thus complicating the work of police on both sides of the border.

    The move didn’t sit well with the Italian side though, with regional legislators of Lombardy proposing a resolution protesting against the border closure.

    “The Swiss can feel free to do on their territory whatever they want to, but they could at least have given us a prior warning,” fumed Agostino Grisoni, the mayor of the Ronago Commune on the Italian-Swiss border.

    Indeed, the nighttime closure of the three border crossings will do little to improve the situation of the Italian-Swiss border. The border checkpoints are not guarded during the day and people have no problem crossing whenever they want to.

    Moreover, just 3 kilometers away from the border crossings shuttered for the night are two more checkpoints (Bizzarone and Ponte Faloppia), which are open round the clock and serve as 24/7 pharmacies.

    What makes the whole situation even funnier, the security-minded Swiss are going to set up plastic barriers on the roads leading up the border crossings. The problem is, however, that these flimsy obstructions can be easily lifted and pushed aside.

    Around 62,000 Italians travel every day to work in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region of Ticino with a hefty 27 percent of the canton’s workforce made up of commuters from Italy.

    The region is also a busy crossing point for migrants from southern Europe wanting to travel further north.

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    border crossings, experiment, protests, closure, Agostino Grisoni, Switzerland
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