Anti-Semitic attacks in the European Union have risen substantially over the last few years, according to a report published Wednesday.
The European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) report said the most significant rises in anti-Semitic acts have taken place in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. France had seen the biggest increase, with almost six times as many incidents in 2002 than in 2003. Presenting the findings to the European Parliament, the head of the EUMC, Beate Winkler, said, "Europe has a problem with anti-Semitism," adding that "it has been getting worse over the past two to three years." "Although it is not easy to generalize, the largest group of perpetrators ... appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans," noted the report, which looked at incidents in the 15 current EU member states. "A further source of anti-Semitism in some countries was young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction. Traditionally anti-Semitic groups on the extreme right played a part in stirring opinion," it said. The report showed that in countries such as Finland, Ireland and Portugal there were either very low or no instances of anti-Semitic acts, while in Greece, Austria, Italy and Spain, instances were rare. (EUobserver.com)