France temporarily closes border crossing with Spain amid fears of terrorist attacks

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The Portillon port border crossing in Vall d’Aran, which connects Spain to France, has been closed indefinitely, as part of the French government’s efforts to strengthen its border controls to prevent terrorist attacks and further ban illegal immigration.
The crossing point, located in the central Pyrenees, was closed following an order from the prefecture of Haute-Garonne, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

However, the decision will not affect internal security forces and emergency services. Health professionals and staff in charge of road maintenance will also be exempt from the last move.

In a press release, the Haute-Garonne prefecture reminded citizens that the Melles-Pont du Roy border post is passable.

The decision will bring new difficulties to all those who have to cross the Pyrenees on a daily basis, according to the mayor of Bossòst (Lleida).

The temporary closure of the border crossing at the Port of Portillon follows French President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to strengthen its border controls in the Schengen zone.

Macron previously urged the European Union to re-analyze free movement in European Union countries, stressing that the EU’s Schengen area needs to be reformed.

“The recent attacks force Europe to step up the fight against terrorism Terrorist acts can be committed by people who use migratory flows”, underlined the French president on November 5 during his visit to the border post of Pertús, on the Franco-Spanish border.

In November, Macron also announced that France would double the number of police officers from 2,400 to 4,800, to tighten France’s borders, after the country was once again put in the spotlight of the terrorist attacks last fall.

A few days after the French government’s announcement regarding the EU’s borders, Macron’s demands for the reaffirmation of the Schengen borders were also supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Earlier this month, the French government also decided to revive the Airport Transit Visa (ATV) requirement for people from multiple countries who obtain a UK long-stay visa or residence permit and plan to transit through France to join Great Britain.

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