London (CNSNews.com) - A small, British, anti-European Union party has caused a storm by calling a recent series of terror bombs mailed to E.U. institutions "the price of forcing a political ideal on people without giving them a choice."
The conservative-leaning U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), which advocates Britain's withdrawal from the 15-member bloc, said it had warned that "the absence of democracy within the European Union, and the failure to give people a choice as to whether they wished to participate or not, would end in civil unrest and violence."
In recent weeks, bombers have targeted E.U. institutions and officials including the European Central Bank, European Parliament offices in Brussels, two E.U. law enforcement institutions in the Netherlands and European Commission President Romano Prodi.
In one of the most recent attacks on Monday, a mail bomb exploded in the Manchester, England office of British member of the European Parliament (MEP) Gary Titley.
A shadowy group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation has claimed responsibility for the bombs, all of which were sent in December from the Italian city of Bologna.
Several of the bombs have exploded or caught fire when opened, but no one has been seriously injured in the attacks.
The UKIP condemned the bombings but said that violence was the inevitable result of the ever-growing E.U.
"We have spent 10 years warning that the route the European Union has chosen for itself, to swallow up nation states without giving the people of Europe the final say, was destined to end in civil unrest and violence," said Nigel Farage, a UKIP member of the European Parliament.
"It would appear that that prediction is now coming true," he said.
"We can only hope that the E.U. comes to its senses and listens to the people. If it fails to do so, then there is clearly a very real danger of an accelerating wave of attacks as more and more extremist groups resort to violence as they are denied democracy," he said.
The remarks were condemned by Titley and other British politicians.
"The party that makes excuses for would-be murderers in the middle of a terrorist campaign against the European Parliament deserves to be shunned by all democrats," said Titley, a member of Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor Party and leader of Labor's European parliamentary delegation.
Speaking by phone from his Brussels office, Titley said that the UKIP "deserves nobody's respect."
"What they are trying to do is basically to score cheap political points at a time like this, and I think it's despicable," he said. "It shows them for what they are, gutter politicians."
Titley said the bomb, which was opened by his wife, made him more determined to advocate on the E.U.'s behalf.
"The one way to let these kinds of groups win is to allow them to knock them off your stride," he said. His mail is currently being screened by police.
The UKIP said it stands by its statements and accused Titley of playing politics.
"It looks like Mr. Titley's re-election campaign has already begun," said party spokesman Mark Croucher. "Just because he happened to be one of those targeted doesn't mean that he's the only one allowed to talk about the bombings."
"There's no way we condone the bombings or sympathize with them," Croucher said. "We condemn them like anyone else."
But the party warned of further violence if the European Union continued to expand eastward without greater democratic representation.
"People have generally got two political choices, the ballet box or the bullet and the bomb," Croucher said. "When they are denied one of those, they tend to chose the other. History proves this."
Italian police are still investigating the attacks. One group with a similar name, the Italian Anarchist Federation, has condemned the bombings.
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