Allies defend French minister after alleged racial slur

September 11, 2009 19:30


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French cabinet members rushed Friday to defend France's interior minister - a key ally of French President Nicolas Sarkozy - amid calls for the man's resignation after he allegedly was caught on camera making anti-Arab remarks. The incident with Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux has caused a stir because he is the top law enforcement official in a country where relations between police and minority youths are often tense. An Internet video shows Hortefeux at a governing UMP party gathering last weekend in southwest France being photographed with a young party member of North African origin. Voices in the primarily white crowd are heard referring to "integration" and the young man. "He's Catholic. He eats pork and drinks beer," one woman said.

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