Austrian defence minister condemns hateful FPÖ youth post

Ljubljana, 13 February - Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner labelled as inadmissible the anti-Slovenian message posted on social media by the youth wing of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) as she paid a visit to Slovenia on Monday. She noted that ethnic communities are an integral part of Austria.

Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner speaking to the press as part of her visit.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

"I wish to emphasise that the mentality of the post does not represent the official position of the Republic of Austria. We strongly condemn that mentality, any exclusion of ethnic communities and fear-mongering for any political purposes," Tanner said at a press conference alongside Slovenian Defence Minister Marjan Šarec.

"Austria will continue to promote the safeguarding of rights, needs and demands of ethnic communities and will always speak up against hate speech or misuse of the topic for political purposes," the minister said.

The FPÖ's youth wing upset the Slovenian minority in Carinthia last Tuesday with a post on Instagram in which it called on voters to remove the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) from power at the upcoming provincial elections and thus stop Carinthia's "Slovenisation".

Both countries have responded to the post that has since been removed. The Slovenian Foreign Ministry sent a verbal note to the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs, calling on Austria to act and to fully implement minority rights under Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty. Austrian Ambassador to Slovenia Elisabeth Ellison-Kramer strongly distanced herself from the post on behalf of Austria.

© STA, 2023