France seeks ban on neo-Nazi groups

[JURIST] French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin [official profile in French; Wikipedia profile] has called on French lawmakers to back a new proposal to break up all neo-Nazi groups numbering some 3,000 in France. De Villepin said the groups were responsible for 65 acts of violence in 2004. The minister is seeking to crack down on the spread of neo-Nazism via the internet and will ask mayors and regional officials to prevent public meetings of the groups. Local authorities have been powerless to prevent such gatherings, saying renting meeting rooms is a private affair and outside of their jurisdiction. Furthermore, many mayors are afraid of potential consequences if they take aggressive measures. Critics says de Villepin's plans will not make much of a difference as it is difficult to identify members in the first place. Germany's Deutsche Welle has more in English; from Paris, Le Monde provides local coverage in French.

 

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