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'Don't build walls or suspend Schengen pact'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Istanbul, Feb 5: Former European Union chief Jose Manuel Barroso has cautioned against once again building walls within the 28-tion grouping in an attempt to handle the migrant crisis as well as fight terrorism, saying the Schengen agreement that allows for visa-free travel on the continent should be continued and not suspended as has been suggested by some leaders.

Addressing the iugural session of the World Tourism Forum here, Barroso said that bringing back strict border controls within the EU was just not the right response to the current panic about migrants and terror, which has domited the EU’s political discourse for the entire year gone by.

“You counter terror through much better intelligence sharing and coordition between the law enforcement forces of the different countries. You can not curb terror by simply building a wall on your borders. Look at the San Berdino attack in the United States. It did not happen because the US was lax about its border controls,” Barosso told a near house-full gathering at the Istanbul Convention Centre, located on a hill in the chic Harbiye quarter, overlooking the Bosphorous Straits. Barroso reminded the EU leadership that the EU was the largest tourism destition in the world, accounting for nearly half the total tourist arrivals of over one billion who travelled in a foreign country in 2014.

“Tourism is a vital part of the European economy, ranking first in the total employment and bringing nearly 545 billion euros in income. So, it is not a sector that you can ignore or take steps that could hurt it, especially at a time when the EU economy is barely beginning to recover from the very long crisis that it has undergone since 2008,” he told the audience, which included tourism ministers from nearly a dozen tions and over 2,500 tourism professiols from various parts of the world. (IANS)

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