How far-right is the FPÖ?
According to a media report FPÖ politician Udo Landbauer sang pro-Nazi songs in his student fraternity. The leading candidate for an upcoming regional election has refuted the accusations and calls for his resignation. Many FPÖ politicians have failed to distance themselves from Nazi ideology, commentators write, and call on Chancellor Kurz to appropriate action.
When prejudices are confirmed
The FPÖ still hasn't managed to distance itself from the far right, Die Presse complains:
“It's the same as with the party's rapprochement with Israel. It's hard to believe the FPÖ leadership is serious about it. ... As far as the supporters at the lower levels are concerned, one doubts whether all of them have really internalised all this. Despite all of [party leader] Heinz-Christian Strache's efforts to make his party look normal and respectable, all it takes is a little scratching on the shiny surface and the ugly brown stains beneath start showing again. This doesn't mean they're all Nazis pursuing the 1930s ideology and trying to establish a new Nazi dictatorship - but many simply lack the sensitivity, the distance, the sense of horror.”
More than a question of criminal law
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is also responsible for current developments, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung insists:
“Contrary to prevailing opinion he has put far more right-wing ideologists in his government than [former chancellor] Wolfgang Schüssel did in 2000 with Jörg Haider's telegenic newcomers. Granted, in the coalition agreements the FPÖ has committed itself to a pro-European stance and agreed to the granting of dual nationality to descendants of Nazi victims, for example. When asked on German TV a week ago about his 'red line' for FPÖ scandals, Kurz simply cited the country's criminal law system. That goes without saying, however it doesn't go far enough coming from the leader of a country with a problematic past where anti-fascism is a key element of public identity and firmly anchored in the constitution. What is acceptable must be subjected to political appraisal.”