Statement on Austria

28 January 2000

The Socialist International expresses its deep concern at the possible forming in Austria of a government with the participation of a party of the extreme right, the FPÖ, whose leader Joerg Haider has made repeated statements which are both xenophobic and against the values of tolerance, reminding us of the worst moments of European history.

It considers that it would be particularly prejudicial for democracy throughout the world that the European Union should include a government with such a formation.

Over and above the search for economic and social convergence, the European Union essentially pursues the ideal of peace, democracy and humanism.

The inclusion in the EU Council of Ministers of representatives of a party which exalts intolerance and xenophobia would go against that which unites the European family.

It is imperative that all democratic political movements clearly refuse to make political alliances with the extreme right.

The Socialist International calls on the European People's Party, and in particular to the ÖVP, in order that in Austria an agreement is not realised which does not respect the 50 years of construction in Europe based on the values of tolerance and democracy.