Austrian mainstream accused of flirting with far-right

10 10 17

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz’s conservative party has borrowed far-right policies, ignoring over half a million Muslim people, a Turkish-origin candidate told Anadolu Agency ahead of Sunday’s general election.

Mustafa Yenici, a candidate for the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) claimed Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (OVP) had adopted the agenda of the right-wing to win more votes.

“Austria is one of the few countries with the best conditions in the world in terms of economic and social standards. However, there is a sliding to the extreme right.

“Right-populist politicians are deceiving people with simple-but-unrealistic expressions,” Yenici warned.

While nearly 6.4 million people are going to the polls on Sunday, the political debate continues to focus on mainstream parties’ flirtation with far-right plans.

“More than 600,000 Muslims live in the country and over 50 percent of them are Austrian citizens. Stating that ‘Islam is not a part of this country’ means that you are not a part of this country,” the SPO runner said.

Kurz had treated asylum seekers and foreigners as scapegoats over economic issues, Yenici added.

He was widely accused of being the mastermind of some Austrian anti-Islam and anti-migration policies.

This month, Austria applied a face-covering ban, which prevents people from concealing their face in all public places, including transport facilities.

Lawmakers passed the ban in May, despite the tiny number of Muslim women in the country who sport the face-covering burqa.

Muslims and Turks demonstrated several times this year over the government’s controversial policies. Austrian police on Monday fined a French businessman under the controversial ban.

Algerian-origin Rashid Nekkaz became the first person to be fined under the law after he covered his face with banknotes and photos of Kurz.

Major parties in Austria’s parliament agreed in May to hold a snap election after Austria faced political turmoil between the SPO and its coalition partner OVP over reform policies.

Twenty of the 2,050 candidates in Sunday’s election have Turkish backgrounds, while about 110,000 Turkish-origin Austrian citizens will cast their votes.

SOURCE:   Anadolu Agency




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