Metzler calls for public action against racism

Swiss justice minister, Ruth Metzler, expresses her concerns over rising right-wing extremist violence Keystone

The justice minister, Ruth Metzler, says society must tackle the growing problem of right-wing extremism in Switzerland. Speaking on Wednesday, as the government debated the issue, Metzler called for greater public awareness of the threat.

This content was published on August 23, 2000 - 07:40

Metzler said all legal means should be used against the extreme right, and praised the efforts of the federal police and the cantons. She said her department was looking into whether the police and cantons had sufficient means at their disposal to tackle an increase in racist activity.

Her comments came a day after police in canton Berne said they had seized 20 potentially lethal homemade explosives during an investigation into a right-wing extremist group. They also seized a cache of weapons and racist propaganda.

Metzler said the problem was not just a matter for the police, but a concern for society as a whole, and she urged political parties, churches, unions and the media to help identify the root causes and seek a solution.

The growing problem of right-wing extremism came to public attention earlier this month when neo-Nazis tried to disrupt a National Day speech on August 1 by the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger.

swissinfo with agencies

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