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Posts Tagged ‘Right’

Europe’s Next Test Case

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juli 2018

Na, also! Schon ein bisserl falsch!  Fake news! Nicht einmal das Wiener Schnitzel stimmt! Kitschig! wohl geschrieben vom SPÖ PR Sprecher! Eine Schande für den Spiegel! (hfk)

Date: 10-07-2018
Source: DER SPIEGEL.

A Journey Down Austria’s Path to the Right

With a right-wing extremist party in government again, a major experiment is currently taking place in Austria — one that may test the endurance of democracy in Western Europe. A visit to a country that appears unable to come to terms with its own history as it lurches to the right.

If you enter Austria from the west, near Bregenz on Lake Constance, with a little luck and the right meteorological conditions, images of stunning beauty will unfold between the water and the mountains. The peaks divide the weather, with rain fronts and clear skies competing for space, or dense fog spreading across the ground like mystical, glowing steam. When night falls further back in the High Alps in this geological spectacle called Austria, the peaks and summits soon start resembling the heads of animals, like monstrous bodies whose flanks are dotted with villages resembling Christmas ornaments. The geographic drama mellows to the east, flowing into more friendly hills until, finally, behind Graz, behind Vienna, in Burgenland, the Pannonian Basin is reached, and you come to the end of today’s Austria. It’s a beautiful country. That much must be said … before saying anything else.

Everything else concerns the strange paths along which the country, its society and its political classes have been traveling for quite some time — perhaps for a hundred years, perhaps even longer, but at the very least since this winter, since a new government has moved into its offices in Vienna’s magnificent palaces. The country is now governed by a coalition that likes to refer to itself „turquoise-blue,“ a reference to the two parties‘ political colors — turquoise represents the party of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and blue the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). But going by what we’ve learned about political color affiliations from history, it would be more accurate to describe it as a „black-brown“ coalition. The black, of course, is the traditional color associated with conservatives. And the brown is the color of right-wing extremists and the Nazis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Far-Right Leaders Loathe the European Parliament, but Love Its Paychecks

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2017

Date: 28-04-2017
Source: The New York Times

STRASBOURG, France — Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader trying to become president of France, already has a day job as a lawmaker in the European Parliament, a position she regards with open contempt. She misses votes, mocks the process and cheers for the demise of the European Union.

Even so, Ms. Le Pen is willing to accept a salary of 101,808 euros (about $110,000), a generous per diem and an annual staff and office budget in excess of €340,000. In February, the Parliament halved her compensation after fraud investigators concluded that she had wrongly diverted money to pay for National Front party activities in France.

The scandal, which has not fazed Ms. Le Pen’s supporters in France, is another example of how Europe’s right-wing parties happily provoke populist fury by attacking the European Union — yet also happily pocket government salaries and other benefits. For some far-right politicians, a perch in the European Parliament can mean a lucrative sinecure, easy news media exposure and immunity from criminal prosecution at home. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Future of Austria’s Far Right

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

I am „proud“ that Austria has finally made it into the cover story of Foreign Affairs! But: partially wrong, very little news.(hfk)  

Date: 04-04-2017
Source: Foreigm Affairs

Its Freedom Party Threatens the European Project
By Anton Shekhovstov and Andreas Umland

The defeats of right-wing populists in the Austrian presidential election in late 2016 and Dutch parliamentary elections in early 2017 have been reassuring for supporters of the European project. Over the past 15 years, Euroskepticism and anti-immigrant sentiment have attracted considerable support across Europe. Yet their electoral performance has so far been less than impressive. In turn, such parties no longer seem to constitute an existential threat to the European Union. (In Foreign Affairs, Pierpaolo Barbieri recently wrote about a “reverse domino effect” after the relative defeat of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in the Netherlands.)

Moreover, upcoming French presidential and German parliamentary elections bode well for the EU. To be sure, the stakes in France are enormous: a victory by National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of elections could mean nothing less than the end of European integration and the EU as we know them. Yet it seems unlikely that Le Pen would win the face-off. Lately, it has become conceivable that she won’t win even a relative majority in the first round of the elections; the outspokenly pro-EU Emmanuel Macron has quickly become the race’s front-runner and likely victor in both rounds of the election. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boosted by Trump, Europe’s Antiestablishment Unites

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2017

Date: 22-01-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Alternative for Germany leader Frauke Petry, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Italian Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, Netherlands‘ Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders, Harald Vilimsky of Austria’s Freedom Party and Marcus Pretzell, ENF group member of the European Parliament, pose on stage in Koblenz, Germany, on Saturday.

KOBLENZ, Germany—Europe’s leading anti-immigrant and antiestablishment politicians rallied in the Rhineland on Saturday to launch an election year they hope will topple the European Union, displaying a new level of ambition and organization and casting U.S. President Donald Trump as their inspiration.

It was the first time that Marine Le Pen, the French nationalist leader vying for the presidency, campaigned alongside Frauke Petry, the most prominent of Germany’s anti-immigrant politicians. Leaders from Austria, the Netherlands and Italy joined them in ridiculing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and congratulating Mr. Trump—echoing or even directly quoting from his inaugural address.

“My friends, this year will be the year of the people—the year in which the voice of the people is finally heard,” said Geert Wilders, who is seeking to become the prime minister of the Netherlands in March elections, despite having been found guilty by a Dutch court in December of inciting discrimination. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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