Mauthausen Committee assesses FPÖ in government coalition: "They remain extreme right, anti-Semitic and contemptuous of human rights"

Press release 21 Dec. 2017

"It is no surprise that the FPÖ (Austrian ‘Freedom’ Party) is adhering to its far-right course despite entering a government coalition," says Willi Mernyi, chairman of Mauthausen Committee Austria. "What is surprising is the record speed with which they are delivering the initial proof."

Only one day after the inauguration, FPÖ interior minister Herbert Kickl – who himself is notorious as a far-right agitator – brought Alexander Höferl into his cabinet as head of communications. Höferl has served as editor of “”, an online medium with affinity to the FPÖ. The Austrian Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism (BVT) identifies the content of this medium as "in part very xenophobic" and expressly attests to "anti-Semitic tendencies" as well as "conspiracy theory approaches and pro-Russian ideology". On inquiry by Der Standard, Höferl decidedly precluded a "change of style" relative to his previous activities with “”.

Likewise a single day after the inauguration, Johann Gudenus, the future head of the FPÖ in parliament, demanded that refugees in Vienna no longer be housed in apartments, but instead in mass quarters on the periphery of the city. "This is completely unrealistic and would be significantly more expensive. However, Gudenus seems inclined to harass refugees through forced housing in refugee camps," stresses Mernyi. "He wants them placed under general suspicion and handled as second-class people."

"Here Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and others can claim as often as they want that the FPÖ has become more moderate. In truth, the FPÖ extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic and contemptuous of human rights – a massive burden for Austria", the MKÖ chairman concludes.