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Rise in Racist Crime in Europe

After last week's attack on eight Indian men in Germany, there have been more media reports about additional racist crimes in various German cities, see for instance the German newspaper Rheinische Post.

Today, the
International Herald Tribune reports about a racism statistics for the EU:
Racist violence and crime have been on the rise in at least eight of the European Union's 27 member states in the last six years, the bloc's human rights agency said Monday. The figures were in a report that identified ethnic discrimination and unequal employment opportunities as serious EU-wide problems. The Vienna, Austria-based Fundamental Rights Agency said it was impossible to present a full picture of racist violence for all of the EU due to a severe lack of national data.

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Zyme on :

The absorptivity of immigrants is simply depleted in Western Europe. No wonder nationalist movements are on the rise in many european countries. But this is only natural - Once the interests of concerned citizens are better represented in the parliaments (like in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria) and their governments change their policy towards immigrants to a more stringent procedure, the sentiments calm down again.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

You know very well that there are hardly any immigrants in Eastern German, where racist attacks are a more common than in the West.

Zyme on :

This is the point at which differences between our peoples come into effect. You know very well that the northern and western german peoples have always been very tolerant and forthcoming to foreign people, while in the former prussian realm and among south german peoples this is totally different. I doubt that the average bavarian, swiss or austrian citizen has a better opinion of foreigners than the average eastern german. We simply have better economical conditions, which keep us away from the amount of discontent we can see in east germany.

Don S on :

I think the answer is clear - we need to institute a seperate set of laws to protect sociologists - indeed academics of all kinds. The conferring of the PhD makes a man a finer sort than the common ruck and should not be subject to the judgements of his inferiors. Let's bring back the 'benefit of the cloth'. Henry II was wrong about "Criminous Clerks" - Thomas Becket had the right idea!

Pat Patterson on :

I might suggest that is probably still safe in not assuming that Europe is being engulfed in clashs between gap-toothed skin heads and huddled masses of immigrants last year. The European Fundamental Rights Agency, which reports to the EU Council only replaced its predecessor last March and essentially used all the reports left over from its predecessor. The former agency the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia reported to the European Parliament. None of these statistics, admitted to in the introduction of the report are official statistics, like the FBI collects by statute, from local law enforcement agencies and courts in the US. While this report is contracted to various NGOs who have had varying degrees of success in collecting data from EU countries over the last six years, though often with huge disagreements as to what constitutes a rights violation. My understanding is that the EU Council will try through the Treaty to require the individual governmentts to use the same definitions and report yearly. Those statistics, if collected, will tell a more accurate story. If a crime or action is redefined then of course there will always be a troubling rise in the reporting of that event. The county I live in found itself criticized nationally for reporting an eight fold increase in deaths from AIDS in the late 1980's. But what happened was that most of the preceding few years these unfortunate deaths were listed as resulting from complications arising from viral pneumonia, which is now known as one of the main symptoms and not the cause of AIDS deaths. One death was classified as a death from HIV/AIDS then the next year eight deaths using the new definition were disclosed. Ergo, an eightfold increase in AIDS deaths.

Zyme on :

Yes of course. All these statistics can´t offer any clue as long as every member state of the EU uses different elements to qualify racist crime. This is only another point in a long list of issues that need to be centralized european-wide.

Don S on :

Why? What is a 'racist' crime? Different people will define it different ways. Different countries will define it different ways. Those countries with political power will tend to force definitions which make them look good - and others look ill. France and Germany have far more power in the Eu than Poland or Greece do - therefore the statistical standards arrived at will likely make France look better than Poland - whether true or not. The whole thing strikes me a a 'pissing contest' like the question of infant mortality statistics which was endlessly debated here a few weeks ago. US statistics look worse than virtually all of the EU and even paortions of the third world - but it turned out that was because the US defines any infant who draws breath as living whereas many countries use far more flattering definions which basically discard all infants not very likely to live. On the other side it seems that Germany's definition of unemployment is less flattering that the one the US uses. There seems to be a gap but not as extreme a one as we have heard all these years. It makes a fellow wonder whether ANY statistics are valid - with the possible exception of year-to-year statistics within a country - and then only when the basis for the stat doesn;t change - or the society doesn't change in big ways.

David on :

Don, what's the confusion? It is clear that neo-Nazi groups in Germany (east & west) are targeting non-white individuals, whether they are Indian, Iraqi, African, etc. The attacks are racist, as the perpetretors freely (and proudly) admit...

Don S on :

David, I submit that we don't know anything about that mob in Eastern Germany. Are they a bunch of 'neo-nazi's' as you assert? I don't know I'm pretty certain you don;t as well. My comment was a response to Zyme's assertion that a full set of EU-standad 'hate crimes' statistics were necessary, presumably so people can determine who the most and least hateful nations are. Such statistics do not come without cost, and I suspect the money could be much better spent actually adressing the problem rather than producing more fuel for argument. BHut in the end it's German business and a German decision. More politicised statistics - or better policing....

Pat Patterson on :

But if one of the provinces of France reports that there were three racist attacks in 2006 and two in 2005 is it fair to lead an article with headlines that claim there was a 50% increase in these incidents without knowing either the number of attacks or just what constitutes an attack? Plus when I reread the report it gave no indication of the judicial outcome of these attacks merely that someone claimed that they had occurred. In other words the data collected was from some of the available initial police reports and did not include whether the charges were dropped or prosecuted. Or even what was the verdict of the subsequent trial.

David on :

WHat's your point? Are you denying that there are attacks on "foreigners" from right-wing extremists? Did the press fabricate these incidents? I read similar arguments on the NPD Web site.

Pat Patterson on :

Well, I guess if you can't read what I wrote then obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate. I no longer suspect a lack of seriousness or honesty from David when he blithely either misquotes, misreads and then misrepresents anything he disagrees with but am confirmed in that dishonesty. Read the report and then decide if you are willing to spend money on any hare brained solution with so little evidence to go on. Maybe midnight basketball for skin heads or perhaps encounter groups and hugs or better yet since skin heads are obviously beyond the Pale then let's just shoot them to save the time and energy. After all it's not like they are anybody's fellow citizen and deserving of the same presumprions of innocence as any other group.

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