Europe

Far-right extremism on the rise in Austria

Government should take action to stop violence, says main opposition spokeswoman

Ahmet Salih Alacacı   | 04.09.2018
Far-right extremism on the rise in Austria FILE PHOTO

Ankara

VIENNA

A total of 335 incidents of hate crimes by far-right extremists were reported during the first half of 2018 in Austria, the country’s authorities revealed on Tuesday.

The Austrian Interior Ministry’s official described 95 of the incidents as racist, 29 as anti-Semitic and 9 as Islamophobic during a parliamentary hearing. 

Responding to the questions by main opposition Social Democratic Party’s (SPO) spokeswoman Sabine Schatz, the ministry official told parliament that 409 crimes had been committed in violation of Austria’s 1947 legislation against the spread of Nazism (Verbotsgesetz). 

Noting that the past three years have seen a rise in the far-right extremism, the SPO spokeswoman said that it was particularly prevalent in the state of Upper Austria, with anti-Semitic acts increasing in Lower Austria.

“These figures are alarming. The government should define a strategy against the far-right as soon as possible and take action to stop the violence,” Schatz said, adding that the current measures were “insufficient.” 

According to a data published by the Interior Ministry, 660 incidents -- including 227 racist, 39 anti-Semitic and 26 Islamophobic incidents -- took place in 2017.

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