Earlier this week regional elections were held in western Austria, and the results confirmed that the anti-immigrant right is continuing to increase in popularity, despite the thick cloud of media smog trying to transform the FPÖ into Nazis.
To begin our report, here is a brief summary from the Vlaams Belang website, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH.
Spectacular win for the FPÖ in Austria
In the elections held on September 20 in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, both Socialists (SPÖ) and Christian Democrats (ÖVP) received serious blows. Compared with the state elections of 2004, the Christian Democrats were reduced by about 4 percent. The Socialists lost almost 7 percent and with the barely 10 percent remaining, settled to a historic record low. That loss was not compensated by the marginal profit the Greens gained (+ 0.2%), who were also stuck at 10 percent.
The only undisputed victor this time again was the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party) with 25.2 percent. With this the right-wing national party almost doubled its number of votes.
This result is also a new and resounding confirmation of the electoral trend that started when the party under the leadership of Heinz Christian Strache again stood up for a clear right-wing national profile.
The campaign of the “Freiheitlichen” [“Freedommers”] — with such central themes as identity, immigration, security, and freedom of expression — indeed met with fierce criticism from the established political class, but was clearly appreciated by “the man in the street”. With their voting behavior, the electorate in any case made it clear that they no longer let leftist opinion leaders and other politically correct preachers prescribe for them what they should think, and most of all for whom they are not allowed to vote.
Our Austrian correspondent ESW kindly agreed to write some background material about what happened in Vorarlberg:
Elections in Vorarlberg
The westernmost Austrian province of Vorarlberg was called to local elections this past Sunday. Given the current situation in Europe vis-à-vis immigration, the results were predictable. Vorarlberg has traditionally been ruled by a conservative majority (ÖVP), albeit in voluntary coalitions with other parties. One of these parties was the Freedom party (FPÖ). The election campaign covered the usual topics and was mostly boring and predictable. Until FPÖ candidate Dieter Egger made a statement that in post-Nazi era and multiculti Austria just should not have been uttered (sarcasm off). Here’s the background:
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The Jewish Museum in Hohenems has objected to a Freedom Party (FPÖ) campaign poster for the 20 September provincial election.
The poster bears the slogan “Money for the Parents of Native Families.”
Museum Director Hanno Loewy and Vorarlberg FPÖ leader Dieter Egger had it out over the poster yesterday (Thurs) evening during a confrontation on ORF’s TV programme “Vorarlberg Heute” (Vorarlberg Today).
Loewy claimed the FPÖ’s poster mixed two very-different things, money for needy families, which no one could object to, and race, since use of the word “native” implied families of people born in Austria should be given preference.
He said the word native was a biological term that applied to flora and fauna rather than to human beings.
In response, Egger said he could only wonder at Loewy’s comments. Egger cited the provincial FPÖ’s homepage, which, he said, limited the circle of people who should get family subsidies to Austrian citizens.
Egger then committed a cardinal sin: He verbally attacked Loewy, calling him an “exile Jew from America.” The uproar from all walks of life in Austria was deafening. Loewy himself did not really react to the “attack”; he did not need to since this was taken care of by every “Gutmensch” available. FPÖ leader Hein- Christian Strache defended his colleague’s remarks:
Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache defended his parties’ provincial election candidate over what has been dubbed an anti-Semitic statement.
Strache said in last night’s “Sommergespräche” (Summer Talks) debate show on national broadcaster ORF he did not regard “exile Jew” a swear word or an insult. FPÖ Vorarlberg leader Dieter Egger caused outrage last week when he claimed Hanno Loewy, the head of the Jewish Museum in Hohenems, was an “exile Jew from America.”
Vorarlberg Governor Herbert Sausgruber warned he would not consider a coalition of his People’s Party (ÖVP) and the FPÖ after the 20 September provincial election if Egger did not apologise.
Strache yesterday claimed Sausgruber’s reaction was “exaggerated”, explaining: “Egger wanted to stress that the FPÖ did not accept that permanent kind of criticism of our poster campaign and other things by citizens of other countries.”
The federal FPÖ leader added there would be no consequences for Egger, stressing his party would not allow the ÖVP to give them advice on how to manage their human resources. “(Former SPÖ Chancellor Bruno) Kreisky was also an exile Jew and a great patriot,” he added.
Strache dismissed criticism of former poster campaigns with slogans such as “Abendland in Christenhand!” (Occident in the Hands of Christians!). “This is poster language that is short and precise and gives people a chance to discuss the matter.”
Strache, who took over as FPÖ leader in 2005 when former party chief Jörg Haider went on to found the BZÖ, pledged: “We are a democratic party that disassociates itself from all forms of extremism, regardless of whether it comes from the left or the right side of the political spectrum.”
The public prosecutor’s office in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, meanwhile, has announced they will check statements made by Egger to find out whether legal action should be taken.
Head prosecutor Franz Pflanzner said: “There is a possibility the statements could lead to consequences under sedition paragraph number 238 because of wide media coverage.”
Hanno Loewy, who was called an “exile Jew from America” by the politician, said he would “rather not” press for legal action over the statement. Loewy said: “What Egger said is not insulting but just wrong.”
Egger reacted with newspaper ads in which he called for financial subsidies for Austrian families in the province. “The director of the Jewish Museum does not like that. He would love to ban our efforts for our home country. But we will not accept that. This has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.”
Award-winning, Vorarlberg-based author Michael Köhlmeier, who interviewed BZÖ leader Josef Bucher in last week’s edition of ORF’s “Sommergespräche”, blasted Egger, saying: “A man who says such things is discredited for all time. This person is done.” [Translator’s comment: the Left’s modus operandi for years. Strache stands behind his people, a trait I admire.]
Köhlmeier, best known for his epic 2007 masterpiece “Abendland”, added he would write a complaint to ÖVP Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner asking her to check if legal action could be taken against Egger.
Loewy said: “Egger knows where I’m coming from – Frankfurt. And not as an immigrant, but because I was asked to settle down here by Vorarlberg.”
FPÖ General Secretary Herbert Kickl backed Egger. Kickl said it would be “ridiculous” to label Egger’s statements anti-Semitic. “There is no reason to apologise,” Kickl added.
Kickl said Egger had only rejected interference by Loewy, who had criticised FPÖ slogans in an open letter.
Kickl said: “Politics is made by politicians, and we do not want any pseudo-moralistic intervention.”
The discussion is only one of several regarding actions by the right-wing party or statements by its members this year. A few months ago, FPÖ MP and Third President of Parliament Martin Graf came under fire for accusing Ariel Muzicant, the head of the Austrian Jewish Community (IKG) of being the “godfather of anti-fascist, left-wing terrorism in Austria.”
Egger’s remarks are definitely not the reason for FPÖ’s success, as the MSM would like us to believe. This would be a gross oversimplification: The vast majority of Austrians are not anti-Semitic and do not view Egger’s remarks as an “anti-Semitic slur.” Instead, the political parties should start realizing that there countless problems Austrians as well as other Europeans face daily, and that it is the politicians’ responsibility to provide solutions. Our politicians keep forgetting that their salaries are paid for by the taxpayer. And these Austrians make their anger public by voting for FPÖ. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Vorarlberger are starting to realize how much Turkish Muslim cultural enrichment there is in cities like Hohenems, where FPÖ made the highest gains: up more than 17% to 36.9%. Could it be that the people of Hohenems are sick of the Turkish presence? They do, after all, make up more than 46% of the population, according to the official census (pdf).
Well, the voters reacted. And the way they reacted was impressive. The headlines keep repeating themselves: “Heavy losses for SPÖ, massive gains for FPÖ, ÖVP stagnant with small loss.”
The trend is bound to continue.
Vorarlberg governor, Herbert Sausgruber, has kept his promise by refusing another coalition with FPÖ, ignoring the 75-percent majority of the center-right. Sausgruber today announced ÖVP would not form a coalition government, but rule on its own, made possible by its absolute majority.
The same headlines will be written come Sunday, whether in Upper Austria or in Germany.
We’ll wrap up with the MSM take on Vorarlberg, as reported by Euronews (hat tip Tuan Jim):
Austrian Right Holds on to Power in Regional Election
The Austrian right looks to have held its grip on power in the Western province of Vorarlberg following regional elections on Sunday.
Early estimations put Herbert Sausgruber’s OVP ahead with just over 50 per cent of the vote.
But it is the far right Austrian Freedom Party which made the biggest gains, Dieter Egger’s party is accredited with 25 per cent — enough to put it ahead of the Social Democrats, who picked up just 10 per cent of votes.
261,000 people were called on to elect 36 members to the regional parliament.
The rise of the Freedom Party has concerned observers who accuse its leader Egger of making anti-Semitic statements, notably telling a museum director that as a “jew in exile in America” he should shut up and not mix in Austrian politics.