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Austrian far-right to help German populists
Photo: DPA

Austrian far-right to help German populists

Published: 24 Oct 2010 11:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Oct 2010 11:40 GMT+02:00

The far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is reportedly planning to open an office in Germany to help build a similarly populist party with nationwide appeal.

The FPÖ is planning to work together with the populist right-wing group Pro Deutschland, active mainly in North Rhine-Westphalia. Pro Deutschland has already had some success in local elections there as 'Pro Cologne'.

FPÖ general secretary Harald Vilimsky and Pro Deutschland head Markus Beisicht are planning to present a long-term strategy at a joint press conference on Wednesday in the western German town of Leverkusen.

Their aim is to establish "a patriotic movement on a national level" based on the existing structures in Cologne and North Rhine-Westphalia. Speaking to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, FPÖ state party secretary Hans-Jörg Jenewein confirmed that his party intended to "significantly expand" its activities in Germany, but he refused to confirm or deny the plan to open an office.

The FPÖ has cooperated with the regional sections of Pro Deutschland since 2007, but the FPÖ's recent success in local elections in Vienna – where it won 27 percent of the vote and became the second strongest party in October – have significantly increased its resources and ability to help its German counterparts.

It is thought that Europe's populist right-wing parties are building a network in preparation for the 2014 European elections. Established right-wing political parties like the FPÖ, the Vlaams Belang of Belgium and the Dansk Folkeparti of Denmark need a similarly strong populist party in Germany in order to build a faction that can challenge in the European parliament.

The FPÖ has repeatedly said that the extremist German People's Union (DVU) and the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) would not be suitable, despite the NPD's limited success in state elections. This makes an alliance with Pro Deutschland the only alternative.

"We have a lot in common," Jenewein said. "The 'Pro' movement should achieve in Germany what we have achieved in Austria."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:30 October 24, 2010 by storymann
This org. sounds familiar....i think in the USA we call them "the tea party", the DVU and the NPD may not be suitable but there is a lot of common ground between them and the FPO
12:39 October 24, 2010 by majura
Storymann is on the money. There's a lot of names we can call them, one of the more polite ones though is Fear Mongers.
02:00 October 25, 2010 by William Thirteen
it's not the first time a right wing nut from Austria has slithered its way into Germany...
08:35 October 25, 2010 by MaKo
Now here's a scenario where I find myself hoping that Germans will reject the ideas of foreigners...
14:17 October 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
There seems to be quite a bit of censorship going on here. I guess the Local doesn't like negative remarks about Austria.
15:07 October 25, 2010 by Major B
Are Austrians really considered foreigners by Germans? Family members? Cousins? Brothers?
01:26 October 26, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, Germany and Austria do share a cozy border. And if you were to talk to people from Austria, the you would realize that many of them are desendents of German ancestors. Although Mozart was born in Austria, his original family was also from Deutschland.

Some Germans also speak as though Austrians are their "Verwanbte" (relatives). And although there are slight differences in their respective versions of High German, they do nonetheless have no problem understanding each other.

The two countries have similar cultures and therefore it's only natural that they have close ties.
14:26 October 27, 2010 by kamikaze101
Thank you FPO!
03:57 October 28, 2010 by Bishopbayern
Its like scotland and england, both share a history and famliy ties but are different.
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