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Talking Europe

'It's going too far': Belgian EU Commissioner backs ban on anti-Semitic carnival caricatures

EU Commissioner Didier Reynders.
EU Commissioner Didier Reynders. © FRANCE 24

Jews with the bodies of ants; rabbis with hooked noses sitting on chests of gold - for EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, the kinds of anti-Semitic caricatures seen recently at a Belgian carnival parade go "too far" and should be banned. The 600-year-old carnival in Aalst made headlines around the world this week, sparking criticism from the Belgian prime minister, the EU and Israel. Reynders, Belgium's former foreign minister, tells FRANCE 24's Catherine Nicholson that this and similar events "open the door to a real orientation towards racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism".

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Didier Reynders also gives his assessment of the UK government's newly-published negotiating position for the next phase of Brexit - saying he is "not surprised by how hard the declarations have been from London", and explaining why he believes things could yet change. 

Meanwhile, with ongoing political deadlock in Belgium and a caretaker government that has been in place since December 2018, Commissioner Reynders tells us why he believes the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 could spur moves towards a new government in the coming weeks.

Finally, on the issue of rule of law in the EU, Reynders tells us more about his proposal to survey all 27 member states on their respect for the rule of law, and why it's not about singling out any one country.

Presented by Catherine Nicholson

Produced by Mathilde Bénézet and Isabelle Roméro

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