After Norway: EU Declares Fight Against Right-Wing Extremism

Published on Spiegel Online /english, by kla – with wires, July 27, 2011.

The European Union has pledged to address far-right extremism following the deadly attacks in Norway motivated by hatred of Muslims. While a number of populist groups initially spoke out against such violence, two right-wing leaders have since defended part of the ideology behind the massacre … //

… A group he referred to as “nationalistic anarchists,” who have modeled themselves after leftist anarchists, are of particular concern, the interior minister said. An attack such as those carried out by Breivik last week in Norway could also not be ruled out in Germany, he told the paper, adding that this was also true for left-wing and Islamist extremists.  

“Among the right-wing extremists, we are aware of a few potential threats,” Friedrich said. “But the problem isn’t those we have in our sights, but rather those who are radicalizing underground.”

Far-Right Points to Growing Frustrations:

As if to confirm such fears, members of both a British right-wing group and an increasingly populist Italian party bucked the initial trend of rejecting Breivik’s ideology, expressed their understanding for certain sentiments. Stephen Lennon, leader of the English Defense League, a far-right British group to which Breivik has claimed ties, said the attacks proved the desperation of those with populist leanings in Europe.

“It’s a ticking time bomb,” he told news agency AP. “If they don’t give that frustration and anger a platform as such — and a way of getting emotion out in a democratic way — it will create monsters like this lunatic.”

A member of Italy’s Northern League Party, the populist junior partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government, went as far as praising some of Breivik’s ideas. In an interview with an Italian radio station, Mario Borghezio, a member of the European Parliament with the party, said: “Some of the ideas he expressed are good — barring the violence — some of them are great.”

Attack Sparks EU-Wide Debate:

Comments like those, along with the general debate about far-right influence had a number of other European nations reflecting on their own relationships with such groups … (full text).

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