Posted on April 22, 2011

FPÖ Leader Fears “Massive Immigration”

Austrian Times, April 20, 2011

Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz–Christian Strache said today (Weds) at his party’s conclave in Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Salzburg’s Pinzgau region that he feared a renewal of “massive immigration” into Austria.

Strache explained that new People’s Party (ÖVP) leader Michael Spindelegger’s choice of 24-year-old Sebastian Kurz as new state secretary for integration in the interior ministry and of Lower Austrian Councillor Johanna Mikl-Leitner as new interior minister would make Austrian integration policy “drastically worse” although it had already been bad enough under outgoing Interior Minister Maria Fekter, who will become new finance minister.

As for Kurz, Strache continued, it was not a question of his age but of his personality and qualifications. Kurz, whom Strache called “a copy of (former Finance Minister Karl-Heinz) Grasser,” had demonstrated his lack of qualification during the 2010 Vienna city government election, Strache claimed.

The success of young people, he added, depended on their ability to address the problems of the young and to solve them. “We are successful because we respond to the concerns of the young. We will see whether Kurz is ready to implement FPÖ policy in that regard,” Strache said.

As for Mikl-Leitner, Strache charged that Lower Austrian ÖVP Governor Erwin Pröll, whom some political observers consider to be the strongest person in his party, had sent her as his “pro-consul” to Vienna to push for continued implementation of past party policies.

Strache called ÖVP efforts to solve its problems by engaging in personnel changes “the false path.” The FPÖ, on the other hand, had a first-class leadership team and did not need to engage in any personnel changes, he claimed.

Strache said the FPÖ would position itself as “a family, environment and anti-atom party.” He called for Austrian withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty and for tax relief for families. No family with four or more children should have to pay any taxes, he said.