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Austrian deputy leader says ‘population replacement’ is ‘term of reality’

According to Heinz-Christian Strache, the deputy chancellor in Austria’s conservative-nationalist coalition government, "population replacement" in Europe by African migrants, is a "term of reality".

Published: April 30, 2019, 8:07 am

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    Vienna

    Austria’s deputy leader says his party will fight this “replacement” of the native European people, ahead of the European elections. The notion of “replacement” was taken from a 2012 book of the same title, Le Grand Remplacement, by a French author, Renaud Camus.

    Renaud Camus

    Renaud Camus. FWM

    Strache, leader of the Freedom party (FPÖ), told the Krone daily on Sunday that his party will “consistently follow the path for our Austrian homeland, the fight against population replacement, as people expect of us”.

    The interviewer interjected by noting that the term “population replacement” was associated with “rightwing extremists”, but Strache replied that it was “a term of reality”.

    He added: “We don’t want to become a minority in our own country. That’s legitimate and fair and deeply democratic.”

    The FPÖ transport minister, Norbert Hofer, made similar comments in a separate interview with Profil magazine, expressing his concern that “mass immigration was turning Austria into a country with a Muslim majority”.

    During his interview, Strache accused leftist politicians and journalists of “dirty campaigning” before the elections for the European parliament in May.

    Martin Sellner, leader of the Austrian branch of the Identitarian Movement, meanwhile praised Strache’s use of the term “replacement”.

    Muslim currently make up 8 percent of Austria’s population, according to the Vienna Institute of Demography’s most recent survey, from 2017. The figure had doubled since the previous Austrian census, in 2001.

    But according to the Demography Institute, a “realistic” range of the increasing presence of Muslims, will be between 14 percent to 20 percent by the year 2051, depending on levels of immigration.

    Catholics make up the largest part of Austria’s population, with 64 percent, while Austrians without any religious affiliation made up the fastest-rising population group in the last survey, at 17 percent.

    Last week, the FPÖ’s youth wing was slammed over its anti-Islam leaflet entitled “Tradition beats immigration”, with leftists denouncing the leaflet as visually similar to “Nazi propaganda”.

    When a prominent TV presenter, Armin Wolf, attacked an FPÖ MEP, Harald Vilimsky over the issue, an FPÖ-appointed governor of the public broadcaster suggested Wolf “take a sabbatical”.

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