France's prime minister announced Friday the government would pour 100 million euros into a major anti-racism and anti-Semitism action plan devised in the aftermath of the deadly Paris jihadist attacks, according to AFP.
The program, which among other measures increases penalties for crimes deemed to have been fueled by racism and anti-Semitism, comes as at a time when acts against Jews and Muslims have shot up in France.
"Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners, homophobia are increasing in an unbearable manner," Manuel Valls said in the Paris suburb city of Creteil, the scene of a brutal attack on a Jewish man and his girlfriend in December in which she was raped.
Anti-Semitic acts doubled last year compared with 2013, prompting a rising number of Jews to leave for Israel.
On Thursday, the country's Islamophobia watchdog said anti-Muslim acts had leaped six-fold in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, fueled by the January 7-9 attacks when Muslim terrorists went on a killing spree that left 17 murdered.
"French Jews must no longer be scared to be Jewish" and "French Muslims must no longer be scared to be Muslim," Valls said.
And it is not just these two communities - the largest in Europe with an estimated four to five million Muslims and around 600,000 Jews - that are targets.
The Roma, a minority group that comes mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, are also discriminated against, according to activists.