Expatica news

Belgian cabinet backs anti-racism plan

14 July 2004

BRUSSELS – The Belgian cabinet on Wednesday approved a new federal action plan designed to tackle the rising problem of racist and anti-Semitic violence.

The plan was drawn up by three government heavyweights, Interior Minister Patrick Dewael, Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinkx and Marie Arena, who is in charge of equal opportunities issues. 

The three said they wanted to develop concrete initiatives to tackle racist ideologies as well as cracking down on people making xenophobic speeches or producing offensive publications.

Belgium has seen a rise in racist incidents in recent months.

Several attacks on members of Antwerp’s Jewish community have highlighted the problem of anti-Semitism in the country.

Meanwhile the continuing popularity of the far right Vlaams Blok in Flanders has show that there is significant support in many parts of the country for openly racist ideas.

Earlier this year a Gent court ruled that the Vlaams Blok regularly breaks Belgium’s anti-racism laws by using racist propaganda.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news