Austria Backed Far Right in Protest Vote, Not Neo-Nazi Shift: Haider's Nationalist Policies Echo Movements in U.S. and Europe

By Ladika, Susan | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 10, 1996 | Go to article overview

Austria Backed Far Right in Protest Vote, Not Neo-Nazi Shift: Haider's Nationalist Policies Echo Movements in U.S. and Europe


Ladika, Susan, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


VIENNA, Austria - The strong showing by the extremist right in Austria's recent election doesn't mean jackbooted neo-Nazis will be marching through downtown Vienna anytime soon.

Instead, it reflects the political discontent swirling through Europe and the United States.

Austria's Freedom Party, dominated by its charismatic leader, Joerg Haider, can attribute much of its success to proposals to curb illegal immigration, break the stifling political patronage system and bolster industrial competitiveness in a country long dominated by the leftist Social Democrats.

While it's open to debate whether Mr. Haider has neo-Nazi leanings or is merely the consummate politician playing to whatever audience he faces, many of his conservative policies echo those gaining favor in Europe and the United States.

Mr. Haider has managed to cash in on the growing unease of the working class, which feels threatened by the influx of Eastern European immigrants since the fall of Soviet communism in 1989 and by the economic slump that has plagued Western Europe for several years.

Unemployment has risen, housing costs have climbed and the paycheck doesn't stretch as far as it once did.

The unease has boiled over into the middle class, frustrated by a heavy tax burden and onerous red tape that stifles entrepreneurship.

This dissatisfaction was reflected in the October election when Mr. Haider's party drew more than 27 percent of the European Parliament vote and came in second in the election for Vienna's City Council.

ANTI-POLITICIAN VOTE

"In the last 20 years, Austrians got used to economic prosperity and low unemployment. Nowadays we're seeing a change," said Brigitte Bailer, a researcher at the Austrian Resistance Archive. "People are afraid, and they don't want to deal with complicated explanations. They want easy explanations: Haider says foreigners and politicians are to blame."

Many regard the vote as a protest against the Social Democrats and their coalition ally, the conservative People's Party, and as a backlash against the European Union, which Austria joined in 1995.

Susanne Riess-Passer, vice chairman of the Freedom Party, said the organization wants to:

* Reform Austria's patronage system, which doles out civil service posts to party loyalists.

* Cut taxes, which can consume 50 percent of a worker's pay.

* Reduce social security benefits for the well-to-do.

The party also wants immigration to be controlled.

"We cannot have free immigration for everyone. We think immigration should be linked to how many jobs and how much housing we can provide," Ms. Riess-Passer said.

Many of the proposals are similar to movements in the United States, such as the Republicans' "Contract With America" two years ago, California's anti-immigration Proposition 187 and federal welfare reform.

In Europe, parallel trends are evident, with France and Germany taking tough stands on illegal immigration, Italy and Spain ousting corrupt long-governing parties and Germany loosening business regulations.

But in Austria, these policies come under intense scrutiny because of the country's Nazi past and because of questionable comments Mr. Haider has made since becoming party leader in 1986.

In 1991, he was ousted as governor of the province of Carinthia after saying the Nazis "had a proper employment policy in the Third Reich."

EXTREMIST OR MODERATE?

Last fall, he was blasted for telling a gathering of former Nazi soldiers - including members of the notorious Waffen SS - that they were "people of character. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Austria Backed Far Right in Protest Vote, Not Neo-Nazi Shift: Haider's Nationalist Policies Echo Movements in U.S. and Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.