In a recent interview with Austrian media, populist Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache alluded to the impact of mass migration and demographic changes on the country, saying his party would fight against “population exchange.”
The Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader spoke on a wide array of topics leading into the European Parliament elections set to take place later this month, and among them was his party’s long-standing anti-mass migration policy, Kronen Zeitung reports.
“We are continuing our journey of our home country of Austria, the fight against population exchange, as our people expect,” Strache said, alluding to what French writer Renaud Camus has referred to as the “The Great Replacement” — a theory of the replaceability of goods, services, and people themselves for economic and other purposes.
When pushed by the interviewer about the term, which is often negatively associated with right-wing and populist thinkers by the media, Strache said, “That is a concept of reality. We do not want to become a minority in our own homeland. That is legitimate and honest and deeply democratic. Those who are not left today are automatically defamed as right-wing extremists.”
“Only where someone tries to enforce his political goals by force, it is right-wing extremism,” he added noting that such behaviours do not fit into a democratic system.
Austrian Vice Chancellor: Pro-Migration Activists ‘Responsible’ for Killer Migrants https://t.co/dwkVam386J
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 22, 2019
Strache is not the first politician or major figure to speak about demographic shifts in terms of population exchange. In France, mayor of Beziers Robert Ménard was fined after mentioning the term in connection to the growing number of Muslim pupils in local schools in 2016.
French Archbishop of Strasbourg Luc Ravel also spoke of the term, saying, “Muslim believers know very well that their birthrate is such that today, they call it … the Great Replacement, they tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, ‘one day all this, it will be ours’.”
Among the general population, at least a quarter of French people say they believe in the Great Replacement and the idea that elites are purposely using mass migration to replace indigenous Europeans, which has been termed as a conspiracy theory by many in the mainstream press.
The Population Division of the United Nations has previously published papers “consider[ing] replacement migration for eight low-fertility countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States) and two regions (Europe and the European Union)”, as a possible solution to the supposed “challenges of declining and ageing populations”.
A Quarter of French Believe ‘Elites’ Using Mass Migration to ‘Replace’ Native Europeans https://t.co/dr2IQVqPQf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com