Racism in Europe
Racism in Europe is very common, despite the widespread legal protection. According to the 2007 Eurobarometer, Europeans believe that discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin is the most common form of discrimination in Europe.
The article describes the state of race relations and racism in Europe. Racism of various forms is found in every country on Earth, albeit at different rates and nature of incidents. Racism is widely condemned throughout the world, with 170 states signatories of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by 8 August 2006. In different countries, the forms that racism takes may be different for historic, cultural, religious, economic or demographic reasons.
- 1 Austria
- 2 Azerbaijan
- 3 Bulgaria
- 4 Cyprus
- 5 Denmark
- 6 Finland
- 7 France
- 8 Germany
- 9 Greece
- 10 Hungary
- 11 Ireland
- 12 Italy
- 13 Latvia
- 14 Lithuania
- 15 Netherlands
- 16 Poland
- 17 Portugal
- 18 Romania
- 19 Russia
- 20 Slovenia
- 21 Spain
- 22 Sweden
- 23 Switzerland
- 24 Turkey
- 25 Ukraine
- 26 United Kingdom
- 27 See also
- 28 References
- 29 External links
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2011)|
This complacency was tested in the 1986 presidential race when it emerged that Kurt Waldheim (a former UN secretary general) had concealed facts about his war-time military service with the Wehrmacht. Nevertheless Waldheim was elected President. Controversy again erupted in 2000 when Jörg Haider's far-right Freedom Party entered into coalition with the conservative Austrian People's Party having gained 27% of the vote. Progress has been made with settling the disputes and compensation for Jews and others whose property and assets were seized during the Nazi era, with a deal completed in 2001. Elections in 2002 saw a significant drop in support for the Freedom Party, with the party subsequently splitting into opposing factions. Jörg Haider, before his death in a car crash on 11 October 2008, led the "Alliance for the Future of Austria".
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) report of Azerbaijan in 2011, states that "Anti-discrimination legislation remains little known, scattered and infrequently applied. The manner in which provisions of the Criminal Code intended to safeguard national security or to prohibit incitement of ethnic hostility are used against persons belonging to minorities and journalists presenting their points of view also remains of concern". The legal framework with respect to national/ethnic minorities remains weak. National/ethnic minorities also report facing practical difficulties in their access to the teaching of minority languages.As an example, it refers to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights' analysis of the case of Mr Novruzali Mammadov, editor-in-chief of a Talysh-language newspaper, who recently died in prison after having been convicted of treason in court proceedings held in camera.
Racism in Bulgaria has been geared towards the Romani people who are perceived to be of different racial and ethnic background. However, not all Bulgarians are racist towards the Roma, and it varies with an individual's upbringing, education, area where they lived, and other factors. Bulgarian nationalists are also wary of the country's large Turkish minority because of their perceived ambitions for greater power in Bulgaria and potential separatism in areas where Turks predominantly live. The forced assimilation campaign of the late 80s and early 90s directed against ethnic Turks resulted in the permanent emigration of some 300,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey. During this period, Turks were forced to change their names to Slavic Bulgarian ones and Turkish culture was heavily suppressed. Muslim Bulgarians (ethnic Bulgarians practicing Islam) were also targeted as Islam was seen as a "foreign Turkish element" that stood against Bulgarian interests.
On 9 October, the Bulgarian president signed the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, signaling a new commitment to uphold minority rights. In 2011 the parliamentary party "Ataka", identifying itself as nationalist, attacked the mosque in the center of Sofia during the Friday prayer. In 2013 one of the leaders of another "nationalist" party, VMRO, Angel Djambasky was put under investigation for calling the people to arm themselves against the immigrants. At least 6 racist crimes are perpetuated between Nov 3 and November 13. A new "Nationalist party of Bulgaria", uniting skinheads, "Blood an honor", "National resistance" etc. has been created in November. 112 intellectuals sign a petition to the attorney general not to register them. http://www.dnevnik.bg/bulgaria/2011/05/20/1093480_ataka_sreshtu_mjusjulmanite_v_djamiiata_na_sofiia_video/ http://paper.standartnews.com/bg/article.php?d=2013-11-05&article=471190 http://www.bghelsinki.org/media/uploads/documents/external/2013-11-13_signal_na_112_grazhdani_sreshtu_neo-nazi_partia.pdf
Cyprus has a long history of inter-ethnic conflict between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot citizens. Following independence, these resulted in a series of escalating incidents of violence. In 1974, Turkey invaded a large part of the island with the official explanation that it was in order to maintain peace and save Turkish Cypriots.
Countries outside Europe criticized Denmark for statements in relation to the Muhammad cartoons controversy. Amnesty International has previously criticized the anti-drug police readiness to act against foreign citizens. Several tourists claimed that they were allegedly beaten and harassed by staff in a prison. However the Regional State Prosecutor for Copenhagen found no basis for a case. The right-wing movement in Denmark criticized departments of the European Union that claimed that there is racism in Denmark.
In relation to the ongoing gang war in Denmark, non-ethnic Danish gangs criticized the government for taking the side of Danish biker gangs, due to the law that criminals of non-Danish citizenship are deported.
Reports say that hate crime is a recent phenomenon, and that they are on the rise. The numbers of reported hate crimes in 2003 and 2004 were 522 and 558, respectively. In 2009, they had increased to over 1 000, and the typical suspect was a Finnish-born young man. However, over 60% of the targets were reported to have been Finland-born, although those with foreign-born parents were counted as well. The most targeted immigrants in 2004 were reported to be of Somali, Kurdish, Russian, Iraqi and Iranian origin. One-third of the hate crimes were reportedly aimed at the Kale, and only one in six were members of the native population.
In European Social Surveys since 2002, Finns have proved to be least racist just after Swedes. Earlier Finnish scientific data reveals that attitudes had been improving continuously for a long time. After all, Heikki Ervasti, professor of social policy in University of Turku, reminds of the fact that increasing contacts increase also stronger attitudes, positive or negative, depending on the quality of contacts. One part of the increasing contacts are racist crimes.
A poll made in late 2011 revealed that the majority of the Finns viewed Finland as a racist country. Two thirds considered the country to be fairly racist, 12% recognised a moderate amount of racism, and 2% admitted to be very racist; 35% agreed partly or wholly to the statement "Islam is a threat to Western values and democracy", and 29% agreed more or less to that "people belonging to certain races simply are not suited to live in a modern society". One in five thought "it needs to be recognised as a fact that some nations are more intelligent than others", and 11% agreed partly or completely to "people whose appearance and culture differ much from those of the Finns are unpredictable and frightening". The most disliked groups according to the poll were Somalis, other Muslims, and Roma people. Groups who received the most positive attitudes were the Sami, Swedes, the British, Estonians, and the Chinese.
In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France were subject to frequent massacres. The Crusades were followed by expulsions; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France. Jews in Catholic European countries generally were forced, by decree or by informal pressure, to live in highly segregated ghettos.
In the colonial age, the French also displayed negative sentiments toward North Africans and Afro-Europeans. French violent behavior in its colonies induced a strong resentment from local populations. The fact that Algerians, a formerly colonized population, formed the bulk of late-twentieth century immigration has raised delicate issues, which are exacerbated by the high crime rates and social decay.
France is home to Europe’s largest population of Muslims, about 5,000,000 (8%), as well as the continent’s largest community of Jews, about 650,000. Over the last several years, anti-Jewish violence, property destruction, and racist language has been wildly increasing. Jewish leaders perceive an intensifying anti-Semitism in France, mainly among Muslims of Arab or Algerian heritage.
In 1998 the Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) made a report stating concern about racist activities in France and accused the French authorities of not doing enough to combat this. The report and other groups have expressed concern about organizations like Front National (France). In a recent Pew Survey, 47% of the French deem immigration from Central and Eastern Europe to be a bad thing. A small minority shows signs of Anti-Semitism. Roughly 11% had an unfavorable view of Jews and 8% felt that US policy was most influenced by the Jews.
In the nineteenth century, Germany became one of the major centers of nationalist thought, with the Völkisch movement, and also a major area for development of race-biology, many of these theories virulently racist See above. Anti-Semitic campaigns in this period took on a definitely "racial" valence, as definitely distinct from a religious one.
The period after losing World War I led to an increased use of Anti-Semitism and other racism in political discourse, for example among the right-wing Freikorps, emotions that finally culminated in the ascent of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1933. The Nazi racial policy and the Nuremberg Laws against Jews represented the most explicit racist policies in Europe in the twentieth century. During later phases of the Second World War, the Nazis began their genocide: the Holocaust, a systematic murdering of six million Jews, Romani people, homosexuals (see homophobia), disabled people and other "undesirables". On the Eastern Front, the Nazi SS soldiers also had orders to shoot all Soviet prisoners of war who had "Mongolian features."
In the post-World War II era, German reconciliation with its Anti-Semitic past has been a painful experience. A depleted population of young males during WWII and the German economic miracle showed that a recovering economy needed more factory laborers, the West German government recruited immigrants from mainly Turkey in the second half of the 20th century. Recent concerns about racism have centered around immigrants (Ausländer), who encounter prejudice when seeking jobs and apartments, or can even experience direct violent attacks by some right-wing groups. This pattern is similar to what is happening in some other European countries.
The immigrants came in two waves. The first wave of immigrants came in the early 1950s, the so-called Gastarbeiter (Guest Workers). They were almost exclusively requested and welcomed by the German government and companies as work-force increase to the growing and booming economy. These well trained working people were literally exchanged by their native countries for economical incentives and came mainly from countries such as Turkey, Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia to West Germany; and Vietnam, Mongolia, Angola and Mozambique to East Germany. Initially, the Gastarbeiter were expected to remain on limited contracts or work-permissions, and then eventually leave. Many of these contracts were extendent and family reunions were granted resulting in children born and raised in Germany. These second generation "Gastarbeiters" were now granted different rights (the right to live indefinitely in Germany – Aufenthaltsberechtigung) from their parents permission to reside for a limited, but for indefinitely extendible time (Arbeitserlaubnis). Problems of integration arose when these second and third generation "Gastarbeiter" remained citizens of other countries in which these generations had never lived and were increasingly culturally, socially and economically alienated.
Starting from the 1980s, the second wave of immigrants into Germany were the Asylbewerber (Asylum Seekers) from war torn and conflicted areas such as Iraq, Morocco, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Lebanon among others. Germany was not prepared and in denial of being a land of migration since at least the 1960s when the first children were being born to Gastarbeiter. By the 2000s, an estimated 3 to 5 million Turks lived in Germany, concentrated in Kreuzberg, Berlin and inner-cities or industrial urban areas in the western regions.
Despite the 1950s immigrants of European origin adapting to German culture, it proved to be a different case for Turks and other non-Europeans who held on a cultural identity held to be "exotic" and "alien" by some Germans from that of their own. A failed integration of the first generation and failed German planning assisted in a general sense of not-belonging and the development of ghetto neighborhoods, creating and enabling racism.
In November 2010, Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly remarked that multiculturalism in Germany has failed. Many Germans criticized her bold move to break a previously held post-WWII taboo on even peacefully expressing an opposition to multiculturalism in a racially diverse Germany, where a fifth (18–19%) of Germans in 2010 are foreign-born. More conservatives are openly questioning the tolerance of immigrants and their behavior.
Although not a prosperous welfare state in its own right, Greece has become the focus of illegal immigrants, if only the first port of call by such immigrants in their attempts to move on to Europe. Most of these immigrants are declared political refugees and are thus protected from eviction from within the EU borders. Based on the Dublin regulation political refugees from non EU countries will not be evicted and will be hosted in the country of their original entry in EU. Many of these immigrants, mainly from Africa, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have faced racist abuse from the locals. In recent times Afghani refugees have also faced prejudism and even violent attacks by the far right Greek population. Attacks on them by Greek right-wing groups have happened repeatedly in Athens, often with the silent consent of the Greek city police. The increased presence of illegal immigrants in the center of Athens coincides with an increase in sexual and criminal offenses against Greek and Foreign citizens.
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (March 2013)|
Ethnic and religious discrimination in Hungary has a long history[original research?], starting after the migration of the nomadic Hungarian tribes from the Urals and their settlement in Central Europe, in the 9th-10th centuries. In various times and degrees, the conquered populations of Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian, Croat and Serbian ethnicity, but also Jews and Roma people, have been subject to discrimination based on language, ethnicity or religion, especially during the Kingdom of Hungary and Austro-Hungary.[neutrality is disputed]
In 1366, the Decree of Turda of Louis I, king of Hungary, Croatia and Poland, redefined nobility in terms of membership in the Roman Catholic Church and, thus specifically excluding the Eastern Orthodox members, an act of Anti-Romanian Discrimination.
In 1874 all Slovak secondary schools were closed and the Matica slovenská was closed down in April 1875; the building was taken over by the Hungarian government and the property of Matica slovenská, which according to the statutes belonged to the Slovak nation, was confiscated by the Prime Minister's office. The official reasons given were that Matica was "against the government" and "anti-patriotic" – statements for which there was not the least evidence. The confiscated property went to support the process of enforced Magyarization (e.g. foundation of the Magyarisation organisation FMKE, Felvidéki Magyar Közművelődési Egyesület). When asked by a Serbian member of the Diet (there were no Slovak deputies in the Diet) why Matica's property was not returned to the Slovaks, the then prime minister Kálmán Tisza answered that he did not know of a Slovak nation.
In 1892, the Romanians in Transylvania sent the Transylvanian Memorandum to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King Franz Joseph, asking for equal ethnic rights with the Hungarians and demanding an end to persecutions and Magyarization attempts. It asked for political rights to be awarded to Romanians, as well as raising a debate on the Kingdom of Hungary's policies of intolerance towards Romanians. Franz Josef, without reading it, forwarded the memorandum to Budapest parliament, which, also without reading it, sent it back to the head of delegation. After printing and spreading the document the authors were charged with incitement committed through the press and most of them sentenced to prison ranging from two months to five years.
In the 20th century, especially during World War II, increasing discrimination and oppression against the Jews and the subdued populations culminated with massacres in Slovakia (Černová massacre, 1907), Yugoslavia (Bečej, Srbobran and Novi Sad, 1942), Romania (Treznea massacre 1940, Ip massacre 1940) and Jewish pogroms.
Jobbik, Hungary's third largest party defines itself as "radically patriotic", but been described[by whom?] as racist and neo-fascist. A large[quantify] number of extremist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and racist organizations are or were recently active. The racist and anti-Semitic movement persists in the present-day Hungary and is not always sanctioned by the state.
Ethnic hatred in Ireland has a long history. During the second world war, although Ireland was officially neutral, Prime Minister Eamon de Valera was accused of sympathizing with and supporting the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Following the death of Hitler in 1945 de Valera was one of many who signed a book of condolence and offered sympathies to the German Minister at the German Embassy in Dublin. This lead to the belief among Allied leaders such as Churchill that de Valera and the Irish in general were supportive of the Nazi regime. The substantial influx of Nazi war criminals to Ireland following the war and their acceptance into society both officially by the Government of Ireland and by the general public also lead to claims Ireland was tolerant if not supportive of the Nazi regime.
In mid-twentieth century Ireland there was traditionally very little immigration by non-whites to the Republic of Ireland, though in recent decades growing prosperity in the country (see: Celtic Tiger) attracted increasing numbers of immigrants, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe, China and Africa. Also the absence of colonialist baggage has meant that foreign people are not drawn to Ireland by "mother country" factors that have affected other European countries. Descendants of Irish people who emigrated in the past also started moving to the country. Most immigrants have settled in Dublin and the other cities. Though these developments have been somewhat tolerated by most, there has been a steady rise in racist attitudes among some sections of society. A 2001 survey found that 51% of Irish people surveyed considered the country inherently racist  and 60% of those in the 25 to 34 age-group considered "racism" to be an Irish trait. In 2005, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Conor Lenihan famously advised Socialist politician Joe Higgins to "stick with the kebabs" – referring to his campaigning on behalf of Turkish contract workers who had been paid less than the statutory minimum wage. The Minister later retracted his remarks and apologized. A 2008 EU-MIDIS survey of attitudes to minorities in the 27 EU States found that Ireland had the most racist attitudes to Afro-Europeans in the entire EU.
While most racist abuse in Ireland is verbal, violent hate crimes regularly occur. In 2000, a white man was stabbed and seriously injured when defending his Jamaican-born wife from racist abuse by a group of adult men. In 2002, a Chinese man Zhao Liu Tao (29) was murdered in Dublin in what was described as the Republic of Ireland's first racially motivated murder. Later that year Leong Ly Min, a Vietnamese man who had lived in Dublin since 1979, was mortally wounded by two assailants who had been racially abusing him. In February 2008, two Polish mechanics, Pawel Kalite (29) and Marius Szwajkos (27) were attacked by a group of Dublin youths and died outside their home after each being stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. In 2010, 15-year old schoolboy Toyosi Shitta-bey, born in Nigeria but brought up in Dublin, was killed. The only man to stand trial for the murder was acquitted on the direction of the trial Judge The Shelta or Irish Travellers, a nomadic social group once speaking their own language have also experienced persecution in past and modern times throughout Ireland.
Several issues relating to immigration gained publicity in the early years of the century. After 1997 and prior to 2005 any baby born in the Republic was entitled to Irish citizenship due to stipulations in the Good Friday agreement. This led to claims that many pregnant women from Africa (overwhelmingly from Nigeria), having discarded their identification documentation, were travelling to Ireland expressly to give birth and thus allow their child to gain Irish citizenship. This became known as citizenship tourism. Following these alleged abuses of the loophole in the Irish Constitution a referendum on the issue was held. The referendum was duly carried and the loophole was closed.
The large majority of Irish people support their country's membership of the European Union, but the global recession was paralleled by a rise in more visible resentment of migrants from either inside or outside the Union. There are several "anti-racism" groups active in the Republic, as well as those seeking tighter immigration laws such as the Immigration Control Platform.
Recently, the Mayor of Naas Darren Scully was forced to resign on 22 November 2011 over comments on live radio about the "aggressive attitude" of "black Africans" (Afro-Europeans). Former Labour TD Moosajee Bhamjee, a Muslim and Ireland's first and only non-white, non-Irish Member of Parliament, said Scully's remarks represented the "beginning of official racism" in Ireland and described them as "enlightenment" for the "neo-Nazi following in this country".
In 2006 the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission got 694 requests to judge if a treatment legislation law had been broken. By far the most cases concerned age discrimination (219), race discrimination followed (105) and lesser number of sex discrimination cases. THE CGB brought out 261 judgements; 46 per cent of the cases were declared discrimination.
Racism in Romania has been growing since the fall of communism in 1989. Groups like Noua Dreaptă and all sorts of people constructed a barricade against the Romani people, who are seen as thieves and uneducated people. Also, P.R.M. (The Greater Romania Party – Partidul Romania Mare), a party considered[by whom?] to be racist, antisemitic and xenophobic, has programs against the Roma and Hungarian minorities. In 2004, PRM scored 13.2% in the elections.
At the end of the Reconquista, Spanish Inquisition imposed pureza de sangre ("racial purity") against Jews, Muslims and their descendants. The Discovery of the New World also led to the famous Valladolid Controversy, in which Bartolomé de Las Casas opposed Sepúlveda's denial of the existence of "Indian souls" (See Eduardo Galeano's The Veins of South America). Spain has attracted mixed race mulatto (African and white) and mestizo (European and Amerindian) persons from its (ex) colonies since the end of the 17th century.
Locally, in areas of Navarre, Agotes were second-class people.
Black slavery in the Spanish Empire ended later than in most European empires.
In the 19th century, Spain colonized a part of Africa. In Spanish Guinea the native population was classified by their proximity to Spanish culture. Thus, Spanish-speaking Catholic Emancipados had a higher status than tribal people, that were taken care of with paternalism.
Gitanos, the Spanish Romani people, had been present in Spain since the 15th century, but their nomadic lifestyle kept them apart from mainstream society. Even today, Gitanos are viewed with less sympathy than other groups. Mercheros, another formerly nomadic group, have been also discriminated against but their smaller numbers and a similar phenotype to the majority of the Spanish people.
The tensions among the different cultures native to Spain has caused discrimination. The centralizing authorities had legislated against the languages of Spain other than the Spanish language. The creation of the Autonomous Communities of Spain have allowed the protection of local cultures, that has been perceived by Spanish nationalists as an attack on common Spanish culture. Industrialized areas like the Basque Country and Catalonia have attracted workers from poorer regions. Their arrival was not often welcomed by local populations.
The arrival of immigrants from poorer countries after the 1980s has increased the cases of discrimination against foreigners.
Racist abuse aimed at black footballers has been reported at Spanish football league matches in recent years. This has led to protests and UEFA fines against clubs whose supporters continue the abuse. Several players in the Spanish league including Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o and Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni have suffered and spoken out against the abuse. In 2006, Real Zaragoza player Ewerthon stated : "the Spanish Federation have to start taking proper measures and we as Afro-European players also have to act."
In 1922 Sweden established the Statens institut för rasbiologi, or state institute for race biology. The institute recommended the sterilization by force of the mentally ill, physically disabled, homosexuals and ethnic minorities, which was allowed by Swedish law until 1975.
According to the report Racism and Xenophobia in Sweden by the Board of Integration, Muslims are exposed to the most religious harassment in Sweden. Almost 40% of the interviewed said they had witnessed verbal abuse directed at Muslims. European Network Against Racism in Sweden claims that in today's Sweden there exists a clear ethnic hierarchy when ethnic Swedes are at the top and non-European immigrants are at the bottom.
Sveriges Radio reported that the punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol tended to be harsher for immigrants than for Swedes; while over 50% of immigrants were sent to jail for driving under the effect of alcohol, only less than 30% of ethnic Swedes were sent to jail with the same level of alcohol found in blood. There has been evidence that the Swedish police used "Neger Niggersson" as a nickname for a criminal in a police training; this was published in Swedish media. Lately however, many incidents of racial attitudes and discrimination of the Swedish police have led for the first time to the control of racial attitudes of police students under police education  A recent research done by the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees (TCO) found that people with foreign background have much lower chances of finding a job that is appropriate for their education, even when they have grown up in Sweden and got their education in Swedish institutes.
In 2007, there were a total of 3,536 hate crimes (defined as crimes with an ethnic or religious motive) reported to the police, including 118 cases of anti-Semitic agitation. Racism in Sweden is reported to appear within Swedish health-care services as well. A nurse at a Stockholm suburb hospital lost his job after complaining on racial attitudes of the hospital staff to patients with immigrant background. Staff was cited saying "go back to Arabia", "the patient is screaming because it's in his culture", "send him to Auschwitz" and more.
Swedish social services have reported on racism in Swedish hospitals as well. A study of statistics Sweden (SCB) reveals that segregation is widespread for Swedish immigrants when there are large differences in the fields of education, housing, employment and politics between immigrants and ethnic Swedes. Sweden has been criticized by the UN human rights council for an increasing number of hate crimes which seldom resulted in criminal charges, when more hate crimes are Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic, with an increasing amount of racist propaganda appearing on the internet and in Sweden's schools, for failing to provide adequate health care and education to immigrants, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants and the ongoing discrimination of the Roma and Sami minorities in Sweden.
A study was conducted in 2011 about the Swedes attitudes to mixed marriages. The conclusion was that the views in general were favorable, but that there was a strong hierarchy based on which groups to live with. Swedes primarily preferred relationships with Scandinavians, Western Europeans and Southern Europeans, and then Eastern Europeans, Central Europeans and Latin Americans. At the bottom were South and East Asians, Africans, and Middle Eastern people. Older individuals and women, as well as people with less education and people who were brought up outside of Malmö (the most multicultural city of Sweden), were generally more prone to having negative attitudes. Most were able to accept family members and friends living in mixed relationships, even if they did not want to do it themselves.
Swedish national television (SVT) has reported on a new research done in Sweden which identifies that job seekers with a Swedish name have 50% higher chances to be called for an interview than job seekers with middle-eastern names. The research enlightens that there is not much difference between foreign-born job seekers and job seekers born in Sweden if both don't have a Swedish name; this indicates that ethnic discrimination is the main cause of the variations.
In 2012, Swedish Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was labelled a racist by The Afro-Swedish Society (Afro-svenskarnas riksförbund) because she with a very white, wide smile cuts up a cake in the shape of a naked African woman in public.   
The Swiss Confederation or Confederatio Helvetica is a nation composed of four subcultural groups: German-speaking (63.7%), French-speaking (20.4%), Italian-speaking (6.5%) and Romansh-speaking (0.5%). With this diversity and its history of neutrality, Switzerland has been seen as a safe refuge for those genuinely fleeing from persecution, and this is backed up by statistics. Switzerland has seen an increase in refugees in recent years, (particularly from Africa), who have claimed asylum directly in Switzerland. In 1992, the federal refugee office registered some 7,000 Africans requesting asylum. In the first nine months of 2002 the number was 17,000.
The vast majority of asylum seekers are believed by many Swiss politicians to be economic immigrants rather than genuine asylum seekers. Furthermore, the SVP or Swiss People's Party has significantly increased its share of the vote in recent years on a perceived "anti-immigrant" platform. It is best known for opposing Swiss membership in international organisations such as the EU and United Nations and for its campaigning against perceived flaws in the immigration, asylum and penal laws.
Swiss "Confederation Commission Against Racism" which is part of the Swiss "Federal Department of Home Affairs" published a 2004 report, Black People in Switzerland: A Life between Integration and Discrimination  (published in German, French, and Italian only). According to this report, discrimination based on skin colour in Switzerland is not exceptional, and affects immigrants decades after their immigration.
Swiss people voted a new parliament in 2007, giving the right-wing Swiss People's Party a consolidated grip on power. UN Human Rights are fearful of the xenophobia that characterized Switzerland, and condemned laws that target the country's immigrants as unjust and racist. The Swiss People's Party which has the largest number of seats in the Swiss parliament and is a member of the country's coalition government, drew worldwide condemnation with an ad campaign depicting three white sheep kicking a black sheep off a Swiss flag. The poster is, according to the United Nations, the sinister symbol of the rise of a new racism and xenophobia in the heart of one of the world's oldest independent democracies. According to Pascal Sciarini, professor of political science at the University of Geneva, the People's Party's recent electoral success is down to its tough line on foreigners, and it is now a prisoner of this strategy: "They have to keep the fires burning, and that means they have to come up with new ideas and at the same time harden their stance," he said. Although Switzerland has Europe's toughest naturalisation laws – foreigners must live for 12 years in a Swiss community before they can apply, and being born in Switzerland brings no right to citizenship -, Swiss People's Party passed a new naturalisation procedure in 2007, called Democratic Naturalisation in this new procedure foreigners must often be approved by the entire voting community, in a secret ballot, or a show of hands. A report, from Switzerland's Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination, into the new process of naturalisation says the current system is discriminatory and in many respects racist, and recommends far-reaching changes. It criticises the practice of allowing members of a community to vote on an individual's citizenship application. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and people from the Balkans, Africa, and Asia are the most likely to be rejected, the report points out. It cites the case of a disabled man originally from Kosovo. Although fulfilling all the legal criteria, his application for citizenship was rejected by his community on the grounds that his disability made him a burden on taxpayers, and that he was Muslim. Swiss People's Party claims that Swiss communities have a democratic right to decide who can or cannot be Swiss. In addition, the report said "Official statements and political campaigns that present immigrants from the EU in a favourable light and immigrants from elsewhere in a bad light must stop", according to the Swiss Federal Statistics Office in 2006, 85.5% of the foreign residents in Switzerland are European. The United Nations special rapporteur on racism, Doudou Diène, has observed that Switzerland suffers from racism, discrimination and xenophobia. The UN envoy explained that although the Swiss authorities recognised the existence of racism and xenophobia, they did not view the problem as being serious. Diène pointed out that representatives of minority communities said they experienced serious racism and discrimination, notably for access to public services (e.g. health care), employment and lodging.  
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