Merkel urges Germans to fight far-right extremism

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans Sunday to show more courage in the face of growing far-right extremism, a problem that Germany also hopes to address during its presidency of the European Union. "We need to really support the many people who demonstrate a lot of courage locally in fighting against [far-right] slogans and violence and say that is the way to do it - and convince others of that as well," Merkel said in an interview with Detuschlandfunk radio. While Merkel was addressing growing popularity of far-right groups in her home constituency of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has voiced similar concerns about an increase in extremists across the EU. Zypries said last week that Germany planned to push for new EU-wide laws against racism and xenophobia, including one that would make it illegal to deny the Holocaust, or any other act of racial or ethnic cleansing. Such a law already exists in Germany.