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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 05:05 GMT 06:05 UK
Blair rallies EU against far-right
Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin
Blair and Schroeder share concerns about the far-right
Tony Blair has urged EU citizens to resist the emergence of right-wing extremism.

After talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the UK prime minister said people must reject policies which offer "no real answers".

His comments, which echoed Chancellor Schroeder, came with Europe still reeling from the unexpected popularity of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France.

The two leaders also discussed the Middle East crisis and emphasised the need to start peace talks.

Those policies offer no real security, no real hope, no real answers to the problems people face

Tony Blair
UK Prime Minister

Mr Blair said: "In this tragic situation what is necessary is both to take the necessary measures of security but also to ensure that the political process is relaunched."

But the main subject was the rise of the far-right, brought into sharper focus by the assassination of Dutch anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn last week.

Mr Blair said: "We agreed entirely on the need for democratic people of all persuasions to stand together in solidarity against extremist policies of whatever kind.

"Those policies offer no real security, no real hope, no real answers to the problems people face and we reject them entirely."
Pim Fortuyn
Fortuyn advocated a closure of Dutch borders

Before the meeting, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Chancellor Schroeder warned European political leaders to address law and order fears to stem the rise of the extreme right.

in an interview on German television, Mr Blair also talked about Iraq.

He told the Sabine Christiansen current affairs show that no decisions were made about action against Saddam Hussein.

"Weapons of mass destruction are an issue we need to deal with ... What we cannot do is let the government of Saddam Hussein develop these weapons ... without any form of intervention."

Urging Saddam to readmit UN weapon inspectors, he said the kind of action to take was "an open question" but was not imminent.

See also:

11 May 02 | Europe
Europe 'must tackle far right'
07 May 02 | UK Politics
Blair condemns Dutch killing
25 Apr 02 | Europe
EU vows to fight religious hatred
22 Apr 02 | Europe
The rise of the European right
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