France dissolves Alsatian neo-Nazi group

18th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 18 (AFP) - France on Wednesday dissolved a neo-Nazi group based in eastern Alsace near the German border, the first such organization to be barred following a pledge made by the centre-right government in February.

PARIS, May 18 (AFP) - France on Wednesday dissolved a neo-Nazi group based in eastern Alsace near the German border, the first such organization to be barred following a pledge made by the centre-right government in February.  

The disbanding of Elsass Korps was announced after the government's weekly cabinet meeting, two weeks after Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin first announced his intention to dissolve the movement.  

The white supremacist group, which had about 30 members, was suspected of involvement in a string of desecrations of Jewish and Muslim cemeteries in eastern France last year.  

Created in the early 1990s, Elsass Korps won followers by centring its activities around a hard rock group and by demonstrating in the eastern city of Strasbourg against immigrant youths.  

For the past five years, the group - while still under police surveillance - had captured little public attention until the grave desecrations in Alsace.  

In February, Villepin pledged to crack down on neo-Nazi groups, estimating that some 3,000 people participated in their activities across France.  

"We will keep close watch to make sure that these groups do not form again under false names," the minister said, calling the movements "a threat and a danger, especially when we know their activities are more and more violent".  

The minister said neo-Nazi groups were responsible for 65 acts of violence in 2004, as compared with 27 such acts in 2003.  

Villepin, the government's point man on law and order, said he would crack down on the spread of neo-Nazi ideas via the Internet, and ask mayors and regional officials to help prevent public meetings of neo-Nazi groups.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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