EU parl 88.
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A new grouping of European Parliament members who share avowedly racist and anti-Semitic views is "a disturbing show of unity among bigots," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) declared over the weekend.
The "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" group, led by Bruno Gollnisch of France's National Front, is currently on trial for questioning the existence of the gas chambers during the Holocaust.
The group was formed by some of Europe's most notorious bigots to promote a racist and xenophobic agenda and outlook, the ADL said.
"It is outrageous that more than 60 years after the Holocaust, a group of politically active racists and anti-Semites has joined forces and qualified for funding within the European Parliament system" said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
"Some of Europe's most notorious extremists have come together in a disturbing show of unity among bigots.
"We are concerned that the far right is engaging in a show of strength at a time where there is a growing climate of intolerance toward foreigners and minorities on the continent."
"It is imperative that European leaders speak out against the anti-Semitic and racist views of this group. Today's Europe is no place for xenophobia and racism, and the European Parliament should represent and embrace inclusion and opportunity for all, not divisiveness and exclusion," Foxman added.
More than 20 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from far-right parties in six EU member states - including Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU on January 1 - have joined the group.
Besides Gollnisch, who is awaiting the verdict in his trial for remarks he made questioning the existence of the gas chambers, are:
Alessandra Mussolini, of the Italian neo-fascist Alternativa Sociale ("Social Alternative") Party, and the granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, the late fascist dictator and Hitler ally.
Andreas Moelzer, an independent MEP from Austria and a former aide to Joerg Haider of Austria's racist and xenophobic Freedom Party.
Dimitar Stoyanov of the Bulgarian Ataka ("Attack") Party, well known for his racist baiting of the Roma gypsy community in Bulgaria.
Other representatives include an independent MEP from the United Kingdom, representatives of the far-right Belgian Vlaams Belaang Party, and representatives of the Romania Mare ("Greater Romania") Party, whose leader, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, is well known for his anti-Semitic remarks as well as his attacks on the Hungarian and Roma minorities in his country.