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"Racist" EU parliament

by: SJ reporter - Last updated: 2007-01-15

EU flags

EU flags

Jewish groups and anti-racist campaigners have raised concern over the establishment of a far-right group within the European Parliament in which some of its members have questioned the Holocaust.

The group calling itself "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" includes nationalist political parties across Europe including the French National Front and claims to have support from 20 EU legislators which will enable it to gain official recognition by the EU.

As a result, the group will be entitled to EU money to support its work.

The planned chairman, Bruno Gollnisch is a member of the French National Front and is currently awaiting trial for Holocaust denial over the use of gas chambers.

"The fact that I'm accused doesn't mean that I am guilty," he says. "I think history should be free for discussion."

Another member is Alessandra Mussolini, grand-daughter of former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

"Some of Europe's most notorious extremists have come together in a disturbing show of unity among bigots," said Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League

"We are concerned that the far right is engaging in a show of strength at a time where there is a growing climate of intolerance toward foreigners and minorities on the continent," Foxman added.