Austrian Vice Chancellor and leader of the national populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) Heinz-Christian Strache has slammed pro-mass migration activists, saying they bore “joint responsibility” following several migrant-perpetrated murders.
Mr Strache made his remarks at a New Year’s gathering of the FPÖ over the weekend in Vienna following a number of high-profile murders of women in recent weeks, several of which involved migrants, Kronen Zeitung reports.
“It would, therefore, be completely wrong to speak here of an increase in violence among Austrians,” Strache told the crowd, railing against those who cheered on migrants as they passed into Austria during the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
Syrian Migrant Admits Murdering Austrian Teen Girl https://t.co/Ps364egFvL
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Strache touted the success of his coalition with conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), saying: “Yes, we have stopped this irresponsible, illegal wave of migration to Austria since our government was formed. We protect our borders.”
The populist leader also singled out FPÖ Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, saying that he had made the country safer since assuming office. Kickl has found success with deportations, with the number of migrants deported from Austria rising by 36 percent last July.
The other main target for Strache during his speech was the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) who currently head the local government in Vienna.
“Austria would have been spared a lot if the SPÖ had not opened the borders for everyone to get into our social system,” he said, adding: “It will be good if the SPÖ does not come into government for the next 20 years.”
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According to Strache, the FPÖ has taken the place of the Social Democrats as the party for Austria’s workers and referenced the upcoming Vienna city elections, saying: “Vienna belongs to the Viennese but certainly not to the socialists.”
The speech follows the party’s New Year conference in 2017 in which Strache promised to ban radical Islamism, saying the ideology was “antagonistic to women, anti-liberal and corresponds to a fascist worldview.”