FPÖ politician publishes racist poem

FPÖ politician Christian Schilcher has resigned from his party and as deputy mayor of the Austrian city of Braunau amid a scandal over a xenophobic text. He had published a poem entitled "The City Rat" in the local party paper in which he compared migrants with rats. Is the FPÖ fit to be part of the Austrian government?

Open/close all quotes
Der Standard (AT) /

Kurz has lost control of the FPÖ

The FPÖ is simply unfit to govern, writes Der Standard:

“Traditionally a government is given a hundred days to get to know the ropes. It's now been five times that long and the FPÖ is still far from coming across as competent. Instead of admitting its mistakes it fabricates stories about a hostile press environment. But it's not journalists who force its politicians to write texts about rats or donate money to the far right. It's up to the FPÖ to solve its own problems. Whether it can do that quickly is doubtful. Clearly, neither the grassroots nor the upper echelons of the party have any qualms about rubbing shoulders with the far right. And gradually this is also becoming a problem for Chancellor Kurz. He can't 'tame' the FPÖ.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

A fatal dynamic

The most recent FPÖ scandal highlights once more the predicament Austria finds itself in, the Wiener Zeitung comments:

“If the FPÖ were a small party one could just get back to business as usual. However, the FPÖ is not a small party but on an equal standing with the ÖVP and the SPÖ. That makes it - at the behest of the voters - a system-relevant force. No democracy can simply wipe that kind of thing away. Majorities without the FPÖ are seldom, in the end it always comes down to a coalition between the ÖVP and the SPÖ. And this combination makes the FPÖ the hottest contender for receiving the most votes. Austria has been seeking a simply way out of this fatal dynamic for 30 years. And still hasn't found it.”