Major Austrian bank Erste Bank has shut down the account of the Austrian Identitarians — a growing grass-roots movement opposed to mass migration — according to a press release from the activist group.
According to the press release the Identitarians assert they have heard rumours of government pressure on the bank to terminate their account. They note that the bank has not issued them a valid reason for the closure of the account and that there had been no problems in the past between the bank and the group.
The group also mentions that the bank has a specific campaign to offer free accounts to migrants and asylum seekers while ordinary Austrians pay large fees.
On the Erste Bank website a post dated from September 8th of last year details the free account for asylum seekers. The account only requires a proof of asylum and President of the Austrian Savings Banks association regards it as a “first integrative step to be part of society.”
Spokesman for the Identitarian movement of Austria, Alexander Markovics told Breitbart News the bank “shut down our account for political reasons,” and that they had told them in a letter the official reason was a breach of the general terms and conditions of the account. When the bank was asked which terms and conditions in particular, they received no reply. He accused the bank of “positive discrimination” toward the migrants and expressed dissatisfaction with the double standard.
Markovics went on to add that the bank had given them a period of two months to transfer the money to a new bank. No action can be taken with the account until the transfer occurs.
The Identitarians are a largely youthful movement active in several European countries who strongly support traditional culture and values while opposing mass immigration.
They have gained increasing prominence since the beginning of the migrant crisis and made headlines for their innovative and often controversial protests. Their border protests attract hundreds of people in which they march along the border of Austria with Hungary, Slovenia and most recently Germany chanting “wir sind die grenze,” or, “we are the border.”
They also made headlines when Markovics was invited on a political Q&A with Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann and asked him directly why he is not fulfilling his duty to secure the border and provide security for Austrians.
Breitbart has also reported on their controversial protest in which they performed a mock beheading of refugee welcome supporters while dressed up as ISIS executioners.
Their next protest is scheduled to be held in the Austrian city of Graz on January 17th where they intend to hold a rally on behalf of sexually abused women and hand out free pepper spray to protect women against sexual assault.