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Growing Extremism
19-08-1999
Radio Prague, August 19th - Extremism, racism, and xenophobia is slowly but surely growing in the Czech Republic. Not only is it taking over the youth but even worse, more and more older citizens who are fed up with the current political, economic, and social situation have turned to right and left-wing groups, hoping to make a change. Dita Asiedu has more:

Out of all criminal offences registered in the Czech Republic, those driven by racism - which are the most frequent examples of extremist acts - make up a rather low percentage even though their political and social negative effects may be tremendous. The Ministry of Interior as well as the Cabinet notes that the Czech Republic has been criticised strongly by the International Forum in 1998 in this respect and foreign countries view the large emigration of Czech-Roma to the West as well as the controversial skinhead movements as real examples of the government's failure to oppose extremism, racism and xenophobia. Furthermore, those who do get caught with a crime motivated by the three factors I mentioned are mainly Skinheads and Anarchists who manage to get away with light sentences. A report laid before Parliament by the BIS warns that extremism, just like in many other neighbouring countries, has developed into a more organised and advanced movement which now, even more so with the help of communication technology, is more attractive to the younger generation than before.

The two most popular groups are the rightists into which the categories of neo-nazism and fascism belong, and the leftists amongst which we have nationalism, neo-bolshevism and anarchism. Although their ideologies differ, they have a lot in common. Both groups oppose democratic institutions, disagree with the Czech Republic's NATO membership, hate the USA, and believe in purifying the world in which the best way would be to get rid of anything or anyone who is different. It is easy to find it hard to distinguish between the two groups and since all that people see is that they oppose the current situation, they find them attractive and fail to hesitate to join them.



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