Wednesday, June 17, 1998 Published at 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Report attacks racism in France
Intolerant attitude against Muslims in France has sparked protests in the past
A report by the Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) says France is rife with racist activities and accuses the French authorities of not doing enough to combat this.
The report is part of a review of the situation in all the 40 member-states of the Council - a pan-European body that promotes democracy and human rights.
The large Muslim community in France "is particularly the subject of intolerant and discriminatory attitudes" says the report, noting also acts of anti-Semitism.
The report describes the National Front as one of the most powerful extreme-right parties in Europe, "which presents an openly racist and xenophobic ideology."
The BBC correspondent in Paris, Stephen Jessel says the conventional non-extreme French right seems to be split on the question of what its relationship should be with the National Front.
Some on the right both in the UDF and the RPR parties are prepared to form alliances with it.
As the ECRI report notes, France has long been a land of immigration. One French person in four has a foreign-born parent or grandparent.
But, our correspondent says the National Front has successfully exploited resentment against outsiders and France's tradition, as a land of welcome to foreigners is moribund if not actually dead.
ECRI's report on other countries