Podcast: Europe, the “demonisation” of minorities and the rise of intolerance

In this podcast interview, minorities expert Athanasia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, discusses her view that Europe’s “tolerance for intolerance” towards minority groups is on the rise.

The outgoing President of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, cites as evidence, the rise in nationalism and wider enthusiasm for racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, anti-Gypsy, anti-migrant and anti-refugee rhetoric and attitudes.

“Europe is in a state of paradox,” she says. “On the one hand, we have a great diversity – more mobility, more contact and inter-marriage – all these everyday experiences of diversity.

“At the same time, we have an increase on the other side, among people who find that diversity is a problem in itself, that identity means segregation and separation and that it is not possible to achieve democratic prosperity if we give acknowledgement and affirmation to minority concerns.”

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