The Cranky Ol' Bat

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EU Threatens "Visa War" With the United States Over Passports

Ignoring the fact that they were already given a one-year extension to get in compliance with regulations requiring biometric information in newly issued passports, the EU has threatened to retaliate if it is not given another extension to the policy.

At stake would be the revocation of visa-free traveling for 15 current EU member states. The EU estimates that only six of them will meet the deadline of October 2005.

27 countries currently have agreements with the US government to allow citizens to travel without visas. If the countries want to maintain their visa-free status, they are required to issue the new high-tech passports.

James Sensenbrenner, head of the congressional committee on the judiciary, has already warned Franco Frattini, the EU Commissioner for Justice and Security, that another extension is highly unlikely in view of Americans' security concerns. The EU responded that it may start demanding visas from Americans if the deadline is not extended yet again.


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