PARIS – French President Francois Hollande has used his New Year's Eve television speech to say that the fight against racism and anti-Semitism will be his national cause for 2015.
France faced an increase of acts of anti-Semitism and racism in 2014, according to government statistics. Examples included Muslim Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira both being the target of slurs.
France has the highest Muslim and Jewish populations in western Europe.
Pointing out "the rising, worrying threats" of terrorism and fundamentalism, Hollande urged the French not to succumb to fear.
He didn't say how he would achieve his 2015 goal, but in an apparent reference to the far-right National Front, Hollande said France must remain in the eurozone.