Nearly one in three French adults describe themselves as racist
The report, prepared by the National Consultative Human Rights Committee (CNCDH), found that 30 per cent of the people they contacted in 2006 said they were racist. In addition, 48 per cent said there were too many immigrants in France.
According to the report, more than half of the people questioned blamed immigrants for their not being integrated in society, and 58 per cent said that "certain behaviour can sometimes justify a racist reaction."
While these figures declined slightly from what the CNCDH had found in 2005, they nevertheless demonstrate that there is fertile ground in the country for the ideas of right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, both of whom have made the fight against illegal immigration central planks of their campaigns for the French presidency.
The CNCDH also said in its report that acts of racist and xenophobic violence declined by 10 per cent last year compared to 2005, while anti-Semitic threats and violence increased by 6 per cent.
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