Neo-Nazi activity continues to make headlines ahead of the football World Cup, which begins in Germany on 9 June. Now Berlin regional assembly politician Giyasettin Sayan, a German of Turkish origin, has been hospitalized following a racist attack in his Lichtenberg ward in east Berlin. Former government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye issued a controversial warning recently recommending that people with a different skin colour avoid small and middle-sized towns in Brandenburg for their own safety. However, Berlin police chief Dieter Glietsch, who is investigating the Sayan attack, claims that labelling certain areas of Berlin as no-go areas for foreigners is unjustified and counter-productive, as it plays into the hands of the neo-Nazis. The large numbers of unemployed youth in former East Germany and East Berlin provide fertile recruiting ground for anti-immigration groups. Germany is expecting an influx of fans from all over the world to support their national teams in the month-long tournament.
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