Third presidential election campaign begins in Austria – Hofer makes his positions clear

Published by carolyn on Sun, 2016-08-14 22:36

ANIMAL LOVER NORBERT HOFER ENDED HIS VACATION ON SUNDAY by attending a poultry festival in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia. [cackle, cackle]

But on Saturday, he was interviewed by OE24 and without hesitation laid out his ideas.

His party, the Freedom Party of Austria - FPÖ - has insisted it is not for an Öxit – that is, Austria leaving the European Union. 

Hofer makes it clear there are two conditions under which he would call for Austria to do just that, however. One, if Turkey becomes a member of the EU, and two, if the EU becomes too centralized - if contracts are made in which the member states have no influence.

Hofer's opponent, Alexander Van der Bellen, has declared this to be a problem for Hofer. The interviewer reminded him that the majority of Austrian people want to remain in the EU.

Hofer explained that Van der Bellen wants a centralist EU. He is looking for a subsidiary Union [one in which the member states are subordinate, or auxiliary, to the central union]. Hofer says this sets him and Van der Bellen apart. Hofer considers it a mistake to believe that the Union can continue on this path - or that it is a good path.

The interviewer brought up "mud-slinging" from the earlier contest, which Hofer disagreed with. Hofer acknowledged he and Van der Bellen had “very different positions: "VdB is running as a Green Party 'independent', who was also once elected as a communist,” while he called himself a “libertarian.” But he thought they must still respect each others person, no matter how much they disagreed.

When told that “they lead in the polls” so was he sure of victory, Hofer said he was not sure of victory but was an optimistic and life-affirming individual, so hopes for a good outcome. He also responded that the people he talks to are not “angry because they have to vote again,” but are glad the party challenged the vote and gave them another opportunity to try for a different result.

About his similarities and differences with other European “partners”, for example Le Pen in France and Wilders in the Netherlands who want to destroy the EU, Hofer said,

We do not agree on all points. They're also for nuclear power, we are not. They are patriotic parties with whom we cooperate. But it will be irrelevant to the Federal President, because the President is non-partisan and I will put my FPÖ membership into dormancy.

Back to the Turkey question, Hofer says, “Previously we've always been told that Turkey joining the European Union is not so important. Now you can see how important it is.” He says that the recent “hardness of Ankara and Erdogan” shows that he, Hofer, was right in his call to cancel the accession negotiations. This was “the EU's strategy” that he says does not work.

Turks in Austria: Erdogan-supporters demonstrate in front of parliament in Vienna. Christopher Glanzl—AFP

About the demos of Turks in Vienna and other cities, waving the Turkish flag, Hofer had this to say:

Legally, they are permitted if they register and no power is exercised. But of course, we have to think, what happened there. Within hours 5000 Turks, which is a brigade-strength, organized with flags, were on our streets.

The interviewer asks, Organized?

This was organized. And that's why I want to know which one of them has a dual citizenship. If someone [immigrants] wants Austrian citizenship, then he has to be Austrian and has to feel that way. That's why I'm looking for a citizenship stop for Turks, as long as Ankara does not tells us who has a dual citizenship.

Asked if longer existing citizenships should also be checked [for dual-Turkey citizenship], Hofer says “Yes. Germany gets that information, we do not.”

And if the Turkey Refugee Deal bursts? Hofer answers that then the EU must finally fulfill their contracts and actually secure the external borders. He says he is all for carrying out asylum procedures outside Europe. He also said he estimates only 1/4 to 1/3 of those who come are genuine refugees.

On a burqa ban, which Germany is now considering, he thinks it's a good idea. If people know before they come that they will not be able to wear the burqa – that will help them to decide whether to come or not.


Austria, Immigration, Race


And here he is in his traditional attire at the Cackle Festival in St. Andrä im Lavanttal -- doing lots of politiking, shaking hands and getting pictures taken with the folk. Lots of support in Carinthia.

Great and beautiful country.  I hope Hofer wins so there is a chance it stays that way.  Long live the Austrian people.  Long live Austria.

The way I see it, Peter, Austria is key to being a defensive barrier for Northern-Western Europe -- although at present N-W Europe doesn't want to be defended.

The Austrian Germans must hold the line and put up fences against the Slovenian "refugee route." The Slovenians will then put up their own, or Austria-Slovenia can put up  and defend a common fence on Slovenia's border.

Fences and walls are coming. It's the only way.

On the other hand, the Green Party Alexander Van der Bellen says:

Zur Erinnerung - Der Grüne Van der Bellen: "Ja, wir sind eine Ausländerpartei - na und!"

Reminder - the Green van der Bellen: "yes, we are a foreigner party - so what!"

Does anyone know if Norbert Hofer is related to the great gauleiter of the tyrol who was himself decend from Andreas Hofer

To OTS in Vienna, Austria's Prez Candidate Norbert Hofer basically praised the announcements by Foreign Minister Kurz and Interior Minister Sobotka on making a stricter integration law. “Some of it is not fully thought through, but it goes in the right direction,” said Hofer.

He made it clear that Austria was unduly burdened by the excesses of the so-called 'culture of welcome'. “To establish strict rules is not to turn away from a human policy. We cannot allow Austria to be a collection point for people who want to immigrate, especially into welfare states, or to possess illegal dual citizenship, to make violent demonstrations, to become delinquent, or to bring images from the Middle Ages into the domestic life of women under the guise of religious freedom. Therefore, we must have a ban on the burqa in Austria.”

He said, if elected, he would support the announced line of Kurz and Sobotka, and Defense minister Doskozil (Army).