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Racist attacks up in Europe

Racist attacks in Europe rose dramatically last year, a senior E.U. official said. Following a visit Tuesday to Berlin’s memorial to victims of the Holocaust in Germany, E.U. Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the increase was 25 percent to 45 percent in many member states and up by 70 percent in a country he refused to name. Frattini was basing his conclusions on a report to be published in March by the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. “I can say in general that France, my own country, Belgium and the Netherlands are the ones where racism is growing,” he told reporters. However, the center told Reuters that the sharp rise in figures for racist attacks might be attributed to improved reporting methods and a greater willingness of victims to come forward.