Thursday

22nd Feb 2018

Focus

Far-right Austrian MEP withdraws from EU elections

  • The Austrian politician has been an MEP since 2004 (Photo: EUobserver)

Austrian MEP Andreas Moelzer, of the far-right Freedom Party, announced on Tuesday (8 April) he will quit the European election after making comments comparing the EU with the Third Reich.

“It is the obvious loss of confidence in my party that prompts me to do this,” Moelzer said, announcing the move.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The governing parties – the Social Democrats and People’s Party – as well as the Green Party, the Jewish community and Austrian president Heinz Fischer had all demanded that Moelzer no longer run in next month’s EU vote.

The Austrian politician, who has been an MEP since 2004, had said the EU is in danger of turning into a “conglomerate of Negroes, where chaos multiplies through mass immigration."

He also compared the EU to Hitler’s Third Reich and was accused of having written a racist article about the Austrian soccer player David Alaba in his Magazine Zur Zeit two years ago. The article written under a pseudonym and Moelzer denies responsibility.

The controversial deputy underlined he is only withdrawing from the EU election campaign for the sake of his party.

The political storm is awkward for Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who has been trying to distance it from accusations of racism and anti-Semitism – not least because it could damage attempts to forge an alliance with other rightist parties in the EU.

Both France’s National Front and the Sweden Democrats criticised Moelzer’s behaviour.

Following a meeting between Moelzer and Strache on Monday, the party let it be known it was dropping the MEP.

Herbert Kickl, Freedom Party general secretary, said that Strache had made clear to Moelzer that such statements “were in no way acceptable and so were not compatible with running for such an important position”.

Kickl added that the party clearly distances itself from “national socialism and racism and considered itself a patriotic Austrian political force”.

National opinion polls suggest the Freedom Party could score around 27 percent in the EU elections and take first place ahead of the Social Democrats and the People’s Party.

Liberals expel Austrian MEP

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the liberal faction in the European Parliament on Tuesday expelled its only Austrian MEP Angelika Werthmann.

The political group took the decision after Werthmann announced she would run for the BZOe party in Austria, a rightist party, founded by the late populist politician Joerg Haider.

PR man heads Austria's Freedom Party election list

A 47-year-old PR consultant has taken over at the top of the EU election list for Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) after his predecessor, Andreas Moelzer, stepped down over racist remarks.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

News in Brief

  1. EU migration to UK at lowest since 2012
  2. MEP Andrieu will chair parliament pesticide committee
  3. Juncker's right-hand man warns of 'institutional blockage'
  4. Greek parliament to open probe on PMs and EU commissioner
  5. May gathers Brexit ministers to hammer out UK position
  6. Tajani asks Juncker for all EMA Brexit relocation documents
  7. Hahn: EU to back entry talks with Albania and Macedonia
  8. UEFA signs deal to promote 'European values' at EURO 2020

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. Frontex: Europe's new law enforcement agency?
  2. Poland and Greece broke EU environment laws, rules court
  3. Dutch MPs vote on ending 'Ukraine-type' referendums
  4. Corruption report: Hungary gets worse, Italy makes progress
  5. UK seeks flexible transition length after Brexit
  6. Commission defence of Barroso meeting leaves 'discrepancies'
  7. MEPs bar WMD and killer robots from new EU arms fund
  8. Canete gets EU parliament pension while still commissioner