European Central Bank to publish action plan on racism

FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank is set to publish a 12-point action plan on how to tackle racism and related issues, a spokesman said Saturday.

Bank officials spoke about the plan before meeting with top political and business leaders to discuss the subject this weekend.

Azeem Rafiq, chief executive of the U.K.-based Multicultural Housing Fund, was invited to attend the meeting on Friday. But he claimed in a letter to ECB President Mario Draghi that the bank had “started to regard me as more problematic than the far-right.”

“I did not want to talk about the ECB’s response to the reports I was raising, but some others have, and it seems that the ECB’s response is not up to what other employers or leaders in various sectors deem to be a good enough standard,” Rafiq wrote.

Draghi met with Merkel on Thursday over the issue.

The ECB spokesman was not immediately available to provide more details about the plan, but said the plan would be published Saturday, according to a spokesman for the bank.

Under the plan, the bank is expected to assist companies to better understand issues and develop practical solutions, according to a summary released in September by the Frankfurt-based bank.

Draghi was criticized for his handling of the issue during his time as Bundesbank president from 2006 to 2012, when he once said “Islamists are probably the toughest nut” to crack. He would later define Islamophobia in a way that appeared to support the banning of burqas and full-face veils in public.

Draghi defended his actions at the time, claiming that Islamophobia was a mischaracterization.

Leave a Comment