A breakdown in Europe's borderless Schengen area as a result of the migrant crisis will more destructive for the region than a crisis of the eurozone, Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday.
"If Schengen fails, this is going to be much more destructive than a crisis of the eurozone," Padoan said at an EBRD conference in London.
Germany and other Schengen countries introduced emergency border controls last year in an effort to stem movements of refugees and migrants across Europe after more than 1 million reached the bloc in the last year, mainly via Greece.
Border controls between Schengen countries are usually not allowed, but in a situation of emergency, such as Europe's migration crisis, checks can be reintroduced for a maximum of two years.
Padoan added that the refugee crisis that Europe currently faces is "not a one off shock, it is a major structural change that is going to be with us for a long time." [Reuters]