Tuesday Mar 13, 201203:36 PM GMT
'EU must address rise in xenophobia'
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem
Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:47PM
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EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem has criticized European leaders for their inaction over the wave of racial intolerance sweeping across the continent.


Malmstroem said on Monday that there are few leaders who would stand up for the importance of having open and tolerant societies where everybody is welcome.

She made the remarks after reports emerged that the man behind the Norway massacre was linked to anti-Islamic extremist groups.

Malmstroem called the attacker a very disturbed man and expressed regret that some people in Europe have sentiments similar to him.

The Swedish EU official stated that she has repeatedly warned against xenophobic parties in Europe with negative attitudes toward Islam and North African migrants.

She also decried how Rome and Paris handled a recent influx of North African migrants, saying, “From a formal point of view, steps taken by Italian and French authorities have been in compliance with EU law… However, I regret that the spirit of the Schengen rules has not been fully respected,” DPA reported.

On July 22, a massive bomb explosion rocked government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people and leaving several more injured.

On the same day, a gunmen opened fire on members of the youth wing of Norway's Labor Party on nearby Utoeya Island, killing 68 people.

Islamophobic extremist Anders Behring Breivik has claimed responsibility for both attacks, which left a total of 76 people dead, but the Norwegian police say it is still not clear if he had any accomplices and their detectives are still investigating the case.

It was the worst violence in Norway since World War II, and citizens of the Scandinavian country are still in shock.

Breivik has expressed strong anti-Islam views. He previously said that he had had several discussions with members of the English Defense League, which is a racist and anti-Muslim group based in Britain.

AS/HGL
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