Saturday 16 December 2017

Press Release – Disturbing development in Austria as fascist FPO share government

Anti fascists from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have called the entrance of fascists from the so called Freedom Party (FPO into the Austrian coalition government, “an appalling and disturbing development”.
That such a move has happened is a warning for all anti fascists.

The Conservative OVP’s forming a coalition with the FPO, reflects the OVP’s adoption of many of the FPO’s racist policies. Little wonder then, that the FPO recently accused the OVP’s leader, Kurz, of stealing many of their aims.


In 1999, when the FPO were last in coalition in Austria, EU member states froze bilateral diplomatic relations in response. However, this was soon lifted. There is currently, silence from EU leaders, following the FPO being courted by the OVP.


In contrast, Austrian anti fascists in the group, Left Turn Now, won a court case against Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, this week. The judge called FPO leader, Strache “snivelling”. Strache sued the organisation for “slander” over an anti fascist banner and wanted “compensation” for the “offence caused”.


Despite the FPO claiming to have junked it’s past, just this September, 60 of it’s supporters were involved in racist and anti Semitic attacks, according to an anti fascist monitoring group.
That the FPO will control key ministries such as defence and social and home security, means there will be increased targeting of Muslims and refugees.


Weyman Bennett, UAF Joint Secretary, said “It’s shocking that a party like the FPO, with it’s roots in Nazism, now shares government in Austria. The FPO, at all levels, has fascists within. The FPO should be opposed, not treated as a normal organisation. When the FPO had six ministers last in government, in 2000, around 300,000 people demonstrated magnificently, in Vienna. Anti fascists have campaigned valiantly against the FPO, in Austria, we send our solidarity and will continue to stand with them”


Sabby Dhalu, Joint Secretary of UAF said, “It should be unacceptable that the FPO, with it’s far right core, is facilitated by mainstream politicians like the OVP.
Those from the far right like the Front National’s Marine Le Pen, who are meeting in Prague, this weekend, will be encouraged by the OVP’s disgraceful move. Minorities, particularly Muslims, now face an openly, scapegoating government. Many across Europe, not least in Austria, will be horrified by this development.
We will do all in our power to ensure the likes of the FPO do not get a toehold in the UK”.

Notes for editors –

In parliament, ex FPO leader, Hofer once wore a blue cornflower, an identification mark for Austrian fascists in the 1930s.  Current FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache wants to build a fence around Austria to keep out migrants.

The FPO was first formed in the 1930s by former Nazis. It came to fruition  in 1956 through a merger of old Nazi and German nationalist groups. Its first leader was former Nazi minister and SS officer Anton Reinthaller. One FPO leader, Haider symbolised its fascist core. He’d become rich on inheriting land that had belonged to a Jewish family until the Nazis drove them out in 1941.

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