Austria’s Freedom Party swap cornflowers for edelweiss
Members of Austria's Freedom Party on Thursday did not display their usual blue cornflowers which matches the party's colours. Leftists have maintained that the blue flower is associated with Nazism.
Published: November 10, 2017, 6:59 am
The anti-immigration party’s 51 MPs instead each had an edelweiss, a white-and-yellow Alpine flower, pinned to their lapels at the opening session of parliament following last month’s elections.
The edelweiss stands for “courage, bravery and love,” FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache, said on Wednesday.
— SN aktuell (@sn_aktuell) November 9, 2017
The edelweiss is actually more famous outside Austria, featuring as a song in the 1965 hit musical “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews about the Von Trapp family’s escape from Nazis during World War II.
Strache, who is set to become deputy premier in a likely coalition currently being negotiated with the conservatives, said he rejected all forms of extremism and racism.
Traditionally, with the opening of parliament after elections as in 2013, FPÖ lawmakers have worn cornflowers, which it said symbolises the ideals of the 1848 liberal revolutions in Europe.
But critics claim that the cornflower had been worn by Austrian Nazis as a secret way of signalling party affiliation when they were banned in the 1930s.
The decision by the FPÖ to abandon the cornflower appears to be an attempt to soften its image as junior partners to incoming chancellor Sebastian Kurz, 31, of the centre-right. Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), may announce his new government by Christmas.
“The cornflower played a certain role, also in the early day of the Nazi-era. The edelweiss, instead, is a symbol of Austria, as opposed to the cornflower,” political analyst Thomas Hofer told AFP. Strache wanted to avoid another “media frenzy,” Hofer added.
In 2000, the FPÖ entered government under the leadership of Jörg Haider, resulting in massive demonstrations and Austria being ostracised within the European Union for some time.
Haider was killed in a suspicious car crash in 2008. His widow said the Austrian politician’s death may not have been an accident.
Senior members of Haider’s party confirmed that his widow Claudia had doubts about the official explanation of her husband’s death and wanted a further examination by a coroner, possibly in Italy.
The Austrian daily Heute reported before the funeral that Haider’s body was abruptly withdrawn from a planned cremation because of suspicions that Haider may have been drugged.
Party sources pointed to the fact that there were no tyre skid marks as evidence Haider was unconscious when he crashed, according to Heute. Haider died just days after his new party more than doubled its vote in Austria’s national election.
On Thursday some 50 lonely anti-fascist protestors staged a demonstration in central Vienna carrying placards with slogans reading: “Don’t let Nazis govern” and “Fascism wears many colours”.
Austria has meanwhile sent a powerful political message to the EU by appointing an anti-European candidate as foreign minister.
Norbert Hofer, virulent critic of the EU’s immigration, economic and security policies, and member of the Freedom Party, has also repeatedly expressed his worries over the superstate and Eurocrats.
The FPÖ pressured Kurz to appoint either a finance minister or a foreign minister from their party for coalition talks to go ahead.
Hofer had caused an uproar earlier when he said that carrying guns was a “natural consequence” of immigration.
Hofer’s appointment is a direct slap in the face for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker who has tried to isolate and sanction EU-wide voter anger against migration.
When Hofer stood to be President of Austria in 2016, Juncker threatened to freeze him out of EU decision-making, and said at the time: “There is no debate or dialogue with the far-right.”
Austria’s new foreign minister could scupper Juncker’s plan to impose a single tax system and single finance president.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Swedish mother sexually assaulted outside asylum centre – media censored her description of the attacker
DOCUMENTARYBoth media and the police refused to publish her description of an Afghani perpetrator after Mikaela, 40, was subjected to a rape attempt outside the asylum centre in a small village called Deje. Watch the Swedish documentary about the case with English subtitles.
StrasburgAsked about the continued demonstrations by Yellow Vests in the context of the latest Strasbourg terror attack, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said the movement "must stop", because President Emmanuel Macron has provided "answers" to their demands.
BambergGerman police in Bamberg had to send in reinforcements to end a migrant riot in the asylum reception center of the town. In the night of Tuesday even special forces were called in to bring the situation under control.
BrusselsThe dispute over the UN Compact on Migration has led to the end of the coalition government in Belgium. Unfazed, Prime Minister Charles Michel plans to continue as part of a minority government and will sign the agreement.
BrusselsA Hungarian counter-campaign has been launched against EU migrant propaganda spearheaded by EU heavyweight Guy Verhofstad, and is spreading on social media.
Sweden is often synonymous with feminist fanaticism. The country's Gender Equality Agency was opened in January this year and is thus one of its newest agencies. However, even before the government could celebrate a year, 70 percent of the staff are at risk of ill health and more than half suffer from burnout and fatigue. It seems the agency's disastrous workplace culture is related to its staunchly feminist leadership. There is not a single man in the "equal" management group.
ParisBetween the first two Saturdays of massive demonstrations by the Yellow Vests, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron were redecorating their palace. They invited guests to the new "dialogue space" from which the Yellow Vests were conspicuously absent.
BerlinIn true Stasi fashion, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs in Germany has allegedly been funding a brochure for young children encouraging them to spy on their conservative parents.
ParisFrench President Emmanuel Macron has called for a six-month suspension of the government's proposed "climate change" fuel tax, backing down in the face of angry Yellow Vest protests throughout France for more than three weeks.
BernAfter a failed sovereignist referendum in Switzerland on the encroaching powers of Brussels, the largest party in the Swiss parliament warned that the country was now facing a "massive erosion" of their unique democracy.