Monday, September 29, 2008

Far-right, anti-immigrant parties make headway in Austria elections

The New York Times has a report on far-tight parties making political gains in Austria's recent elections.

“If you ask the voters, ‘Are you economically or socially in a better situation than two or three years before?’ then a clear majority says, ‘No, we are worse,’ ” said Peter Filzmaier, a political science professor at Danube University in Krems. “This is a typical mood that helps populist parties. Then there’s a profit for right-wing groups that say it is foreigners and other countries that are to blame.”

Britta Schellenberg, a research analyst on right-wing radicalism in Europe at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, said that xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment had joined with increasing antipathy toward globalization and capitalism. “This is exploited by the radical right more frequently than even a couple of years ago,” she said.

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