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26th Sep 2016

Focus

Haider's daughter to run in EU elections

  • The wind-down process of Hypo has cost Austrian taxpayers around €4 billion (Photo: EUobserver)

The daughter of the late far-right Austrian politician Joerg Haider Wednesday (26 March) announced she would run in the May EU election for the eurosceptic Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZOe).

At a press conference in Vienna Ulrike Haider-Querica said she was a "fervent European" but denounced the euro as an "elite project of bankers and investors" which should be put to a referendum in Austria.

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A 37-year legal expert who has been teaching in Rome, her EU election launch is seen as a way of reviving BZOe's political fortunes.

The party was founded by her father in 2005 when it split off from the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).

Haider, who died in a car crash in 2008, was well-known in Brussels for having prompted the first-ever use of sanctions against a member state when his then party, the FPOe, became part of a coalition government in 2000.

He was also Austria's most notorious politician abroad due to a series of controversial comments, most notably that Germany's Third Reich had an "orderly" employment policy.

The BZOe managed to get almost 11 percent of the vote in 2008 but struggled in the polls following Haider's death, and since autumn last year is no longer in parliament having failed to reach the 4 percent threshold.

For her part, Haider-Querica, who is a political novice, is seeking to clean up her father's name, particularly concerning the Hypo bank, nationalised in 2009.

The Hypo bank was co-owned by the province of Carinthia during Haider's governorship. To date the wind-down process of Hypo has cost Austrian taxpayers around €4 billion.

"In the Hypo disaster, my father's name is being abused every day to make him the sole scapegoat for this problem,” said Haider-Quercia.

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