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ECRI Concerned About Racism In Central Europe

8 June 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has said that Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Greece still have failed to take needed steps toward combating racism and religious discrimination.

The ECRI said in four separate reports issued today that the four countries have improved since the last ECRI reports in mid-1999, but important concerns still arise.

The most critical report said police brutality and other racially motivated violence continues in Hungary. It says that the country's Romany minority, which constitutes about 4 percent of the population, remains segregated and otherwise severely disadvantaged in health care, housing, employment, and education.

The ECRI is an agency of the Council of Europe, serving as the council's expert body on combating racism.