Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for April
M T W T F S S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
Add your event FREE

Today



BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria

Smell Stop

Cosmo&Nanu

FP ball all-clear angers NGOs

Refugee charity organisations and anti-fascism groups are infuriated by news that a right-wing movement may host a ball at the presidential office next year.

Freedom Party (FPÖ) Vienna whip Johann Gudenus said today (Tues) that managers of Hofburg Palace granted his faction’s application to organise a ball at the venue in 2013. Hofburg Palace is a major tourist attraction. The spectacular building, which is situated in downtown Vienna, features several museums but also the office of the federal president.

Gudenus said that his party would hold Vienna’s First Ball of Academics at Hofburg Palace in 2013. This announcement has caused some controversy since it comes just weeks after several people were injured in riots taking place outside Hofburg Palace before, during and after the most recent Viennese Corporations Ball.

The event – organised by far-right student fraternities – attracted not only European right-wing icons like Marine Le Pen, the chairwoman of France’s Front National (FN), but also peaceful demonstrators and left-wing rioters. Students, Green Party representatives, members of the Jewish Community in Vienna (IKG) and labour unionists gathered near Hofburg Palace a few hours before the disputed bash started. The most recent edition of the ball took place in January. Previous Corporations Balls drew protesters too. However, a new level of violence was reached around this year’s ball.

Albrecht Konecny, the former head of the Social Democrats’ (SPÖ) delegation in the federal council (Bundesrat), told newspapers that a group of police officers were watching on as he was beaten up on his way home from the peaceful gathering against xenophobia and fascism. State prosecutors are investigating. The accused policemen could be jailed if found guilty while rightist bloggers claim that left-wing extremists could have mistaken the elderly ex-politician for an attendant of the ball.

A spokesman for SOS Mitmensch, an organisation focusing on helping asylum seekers and refugees, told Die Presse today (Tues) that the FPÖ dared a disgraceful deception manoeuvre. IKG President Oskar Deutsch said in a press release it was a "scandal" that the right-wing party experienced no difficulties in registering another "network get-together of right-wing extremists".

SOS Mitmensch said the only positive aspect of the news was that the FPÖ could be fully held responsible for who would attend the event. The non-government organisation (NGO) said that the guest list of the ball set to take place in February 2013 would disclose whether the FPÖ respected democracy. Gudenus hit back by claiming that the planned ball had nothing to do with right-wing extremism. "It is everyone’s right to organise such an event," he said speaking to Die Presse.

The public debate regarding the controversial ball was more intense than ever before this year after FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache said that what had happened outside Hofburg Palace that night reminded him of the Night of Broken Glass (Reichskristallnacht) of 9 November 1938 when synagogues and Jewish shops in several German and Austrian cities were destroyed and set on fire. Strache also angered his critics by refusing to disassociate from a statement in which he alleged that members of right-wing student fraternities and FPÖ supporters could be considered as the "new Jews".

The business association which manages Hofburg Palace features several prestigious names such as Vienna’s Hotel Sacher. Martin Graf of the FPÖ, the parliament’s third president, warned the companies about a boycott if they refused to take back their decision to allow the Corporations Ball to take place at the palace. A spokeswoman for Hofburg Palace’s management and promotion agency said there was nothing wrong with giving the green light to the Academics Ball since it would be organised by the FPÖ. She underlined that the enterprises in charge of the decision would cooperate with all democratic political movements of Austria.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!

Write your comment to this article here



Related articles: Vienna focus

  1. An Austrian Island Escape at the Insel Hotel

    » Travel 2013-04-01

    Looking out of the window you may think of anything other than summer, but it is rapidly approaching and that means one thing - Summer holidays!

  2. A night of glitz and glamour at Vienna Filmball 2013

    » Panorama 2013-03-18

    Glamour and glitz were out in force at the weekend as stars from Austria and further afield flocked over the red carpet into the Vienna City Hall for a night of awards, dance and partying!

  3. Bonbon Ball crowns Miss Bonbon 2013!

    » Panorama 2013-02-11

    By far the sweetest event in the Vienna Ball season - the Bonbon Ball took place this weekend.

more related articles tagged "Vienna focus"

Related articles: right-wing Austria

  1. Prll outpaces friends and foes in capability check

    » General News 2012-05-23

    Austrias longest-serving governor has been identified as the most capable one in the opinion of citizens.

  2. BZ ends Stronach speculations

    » General News 2012-05-18

    The Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZ) has finally dismissed the circulating rumours about teaming up with a billionaire businessman.

  3. BZ farewell possible, poll shows

    » General News 2012-05-17

    The chances of the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZ) to avoid dropping out of parliament are waning, according to a new poll.

more related articles tagged "right-wing Austria"

Related articles: political scandals

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Peoples Party (VP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his factions partnership with the Greens.

more related articles tagged "political scandals"

Related articles: EU

  1. Best of the bookshelf in May, part four

    » Panorama 2012-05-31

    A Harvard University professors book on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a collection of funny experiences on planes and many more interesting releases are out now.

  2. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  3. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

more related articles tagged "EU"


Tag cloud:
Gudenus  presidential  Hofburg  rsquo  Vienna  extremists  Corporations  controversy  Ball  Jewish  ndash  ball  event  student  Academics  riots  Ouml  Palace  fraternities  Strache


Latest News

 

Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika
A huge swastika that has scarred the walls of an Austrian castle for the past 80 years is still on view despite breaching strict postwar rules banning all Nazi symbols.

Jetflyers Take The Jet Ski Onto The Road
An Austrian company is making waves after they came up with the idea of taking a jet ski and fitting it with wheels.

Nuns invite young women to get a taste of Abbey life
In a bid to revive their Austrian abbey that doubles up as a health resort, a group of nuns are inviting young women to come and stay with them to get a taste of nun life.

Austrian women earning over fifth less than men
Austrian women are earning on average 23.4 percent less than men in the country, according to Statistik Austria.

Exploring photography and art through 1960s cult film Blow-Up
Vienna's Albertina is putting on an photography exhibition featuring stills from the cult sixties photography film Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies
An endangered turtle from Schoenbrunn Zoo is taking a trip across the world to try his luck out with two female turtles in India.

What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 April and 16 April:

Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.

Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.

Pony And Trapped After Too Much Fresh Grass
A roly-poly pony lost its balance on an Alpine slope due to its calorie-overloaded body.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers