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Switzerland steps up efforts to tackle right-wing extremism

The Swiss authorities want to determine the causes of right-wing extremism Keystone Archive

The government has earmarked additional funds to tackle what it says is the growing threat of right-wing extremism. A key pillar of its strategy is to research the causes and origins of the phenomenon.

This content was published on June 15, 2001 - 12:26

The interior ministry said on Friday that it would spend SFr4 million on the study, which will focus on five major themes: interaction between right-wing extremism and society, societal evolution and modernisation, gender and social status.

The announcement comes amid concerns of a record rise in the number of right-wing extremist incidents last year.

A spokesman for the Swiss Service for analysis and prevention, Urs von Daeniken, said recently that the number of extremists active in Switzerland was increasing, and that there had been a three-fold rise in right-wing incidents in 2000. He added that 40 incidents had involved acts of violence.

Daeniken also stressed the need to prevent extremists from forming a coherent political movement. "We must take steps to prevent the neo-Nazi movement from constituting itself into a vote-winning party," he said.

The research will be conducted by the Swiss National Science Foundation, which says there is a proven need to study the origins of right-wing extremism since too little is known about the subject.

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