Senior figures from across Austria's political spectrum have condemned the head of the far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, over his party's European election campaign directed against Israel and Turkey.
In an advertisement in the newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Freedom opposes the accession of Turkey and Israel to the European Union. Although Turkey is in EU accession talks, Israel is not.
Heinz-Christian Strache prepares for a TV discussion in Vienna, Sept. 17, 2008. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader (AUSTRIA)
"What is the most distasteful and despicable is the style," says Ernst Strasser, the conservatives' candidate in next month's elections for the European Parliament, referring to Strache's campaign. "This style is abusive. He vilifies other religions and ethnicities."
According to Chancellor Werner Faymann, Strache is "a hate monger, a disgrace".
"It makes absolutely no sense for Israel to be mentioned. Israel is not a candidate for accession. There isn't even an accession process. The only reason to mention Israel is to serve anti-Semitic prejudices. It is disgraceful."