- The economic crisis
has caused a rise in racism in Europe as local populations blame their troubles on immigrants, an influential human-rights body said Thursday.
The crisis has led to widespread lay-offs and forced governments to slash their employees' salaries in many member states. That has led to renewed calls in some states for a crackdown on immigrants, who are accused of "stealing" jobs
and access to social services.
"In the last year, there has been a hardening of the immigration debate and a rise in xenophobic and intolerant attitudes in general, including virulent verbal attacks and violent incidents," said Nils Muiznieks, head of the Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), in the body's annual report.