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Thursday, 6 April, 2000, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
EU racism watchdog warns German campaign

A body set up by the European Union to monitor racism has expressed concern about what its says are anti-immigrant campaign tactics by Germany's Christian Democrats.

The Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia singled out one of the party's candidates for election, Juergen Ruettgers, who is standing for premier in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It criticised his campaign slogan, "Children not Indians", adopted to protest against a government plan to offer work permits to thousands of foreign computer experts.

The head of the Monitoring Centre, Jean Kahn, said German politicians should have learned more than others from history. The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has also spoken out against the campaign which he described as indecent.

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