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European Parliament is financing neo-Nazis even after rules change

21.4.2016 7:24
A group photograph of the members of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, a faction at the EP. Erik Lamprecht, Vice-Chair of the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) of the Czech Republic, is on the outer right, while DSSS Chair Tomáš Vandas is in the middle. (PHOTO:  website of the APF)
A group photograph of the members of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, a faction at the EP. Erik Lamprecht, Vice-Chair of the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) of the Czech Republic, is on the outer right, while DSSS Chair Tomáš Vandas is in the middle. (PHOTO: website of the APF)

The European Parliament has just issued a second grant this year to support the Europa Terra Nostra foundation (ETN), part of the extremist "Alliance for Peace and Freedom" (APF) faction of the European legislature. Czech extremist Tomáš Vandas sits on the executive board of the APF, which is using the money to prepare a big meeting in Stockholm this summer.

That means the EP grant will facilitate a congress of dozens of fascist and neo-Nazi organizations. A total of almost EUR 600 000 has been awarded to ETN this year.

In January the foundation, which has direct ties to fascists and neo-Nazis, succeeded with its first grant application, and now it has managed to beguile the grants commission into giving it another contribution. In 2014 Brussels adopted stricter legislation intended to prevent the financing of organizations that reject fundamental human rights and values, but that hasn't stopped the fundraising.

The APF, the umbrella organization of which the supported foundation is a part, brings together ultra-right groups across Europe. Their members include not just the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) of the Czech Republic, led by Vandas, but also the "People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS), Golden Dawn in Greece, and the National Demcoratic Party of Germany.

At the planned meeting in the Swedish capital it is highly likely that speakers will convene who are devotees of anti-EU, anti-Semitic, and neo-Nazi propaganda - the speakers are to include Magnus Söderman, who has not hesitated to call Hitler a "model of a wise person", or Bjorn Björkquist, who has been repeatedly prosecuted and convicted of inciting racial intolerance. Swedish MEP Marita Ulvskog has commented on the financing of the neo-Nazi activities by the EP as being both embarrassing and scary.

Ulvskog initiated the adoption of stricter grant rules in 2014. She believes it is an error that the grants commission makes short-term decisions that take into consideration just the fact that a certain faction exists at the EP level, not how the members of the faction actually behave at national level.

Adéla Gálová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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European Parliament, Extremism, Neo-Nazism, Racism



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