Freedom Party of Austria

Knowledge Identifier: &Freedom_Party_of_Austria


Freedom Party of Austria

Right-wing populist partyadd

Category: Politics

Founded in 1956.

Countries: Austria (40%), United States (10%), US (10%)

Main connections: Heinz-Christian Strache, Ewald Stadler, Jorg Haider

Linked to: Austrian People's Party, Social Democratic Party of Austria, Christian Social Party, Free Democratic Party




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The FPÖ itself was founded in 1956 as the successor to the short-lived Federation of Independents , which had been founded seven years earlier add something


The ÖVP and the FPÖ ran a joint candidate for the 1957 presidential election, who lost add something


Reinthaller was replaced as leader in 1958 by Friedrich Peter , who led the party through the 1960s and 1970s and moved it towards the political centre add something


In 1966 the ÖVP-SPÖ Grand Coalition which had governed Austria since the war was broken, when the ÖVP gained enough votes to govern alone add something


Despite the anti-American views of some right-wing forums in the 1970s and 1980s , the FPÖ were more positively inclined towards the United States under Haider's leadership in the late 1980s and 1990s add something


From 1978 to 1993, under the party's liberal leadership, the party was a member of the Liberal International add something


Under the influence of Kreisky, a new generation of liberals brought the FPÖ into the Liberal International in 1978 add something


During the 1980s and 1990s, Austrian voters became increasingly disaffected with the rule by the two major parties add something


From the late 1980s through the 1990s, the party developed economically, supporting tax reduction, less state intervention and more privatisation add something


Immigration was not a hot-button issue in Austria until the 1980s add something


In the 1980s, the Austrian political system began to change; the dominance of the SPÖ and ÖVP started to erode, and the Austrian electorate began to swing to the right add something


Liberal Norbert Steger was chosen as new FPÖ party leader in 1980; in an effort to gain popularity, he helped the FPÖ become established as a moderate centrist liberal party add something


In 1983, the right-wing Jörg Haider took over the leadership of the FPÖ's significant Carinthia branch add something


In the Austrian political landscape, the FPÖ was from its foundation a third party with only modest support until it entered into government together with the Social Democratic Party , following the elections in 1983 add something


SPÖ leader Bruno Kreisky had encouraged the FPÖ's move to the centre, in order to establish an SPÖ-FPÖ alliance against the ÖVP. The 1983 general election was a watershed; the SPÖ lost its absolute majority in Parliament, which resulted in the formation of an SPÖ-FPÖ "Small Coalition" add something


Franz Vranitzky - In 1984, Vranitzky joined the SPÖ-Freedom Party government coalition under Chancellor Fred Sinowatz as minister of finance


In the 1985 Reder case, for instance, Haider staunchly supported FPÖ Minister of Defence Friedhelm Frischenschlager when the latter welcomed convicted "Waffen-SS" war criminal Walter Reder in person when Reder arrived at Graz Airport after his release from Italy add something


Initially, "Heimat" indicated the feeling of national belonging influenced by a pan-Germanic vision; the party assured voters in 1985 that "the overwhelming majority of Austrians belong to the German ethnic and cultural community add something


However, incoming SPÖ Chancellor Franz Vranitzky who entered office in 1986 had strong negative feelings towards Haider, whom he felt was too far-right add something


When Jörg Haider was chosen as new FPÖ party leader in 1986, the party started a political and ideological journey which was described by observers as representing a turn towards right-wing populism add something


Under Haider's leadership, on the list of most important issues for voters immigration went from being practically non-existent before 1989, to the 10th-most-important in 1990, and the second-most-important in 1992 add something


Although during the late 1990s the party warned against the growing influence of radical Islam, this was later expanded to include concerns about Islamisation and the increasing number of Muslims in general add something


By the 1990 general election the party had moved away from the liberal mainstream course, instead focusing on immigration and becoming increasingly critical of the political establishment and the EU. Following a remark made by Haider in 1991 about the "decent employment policy" of Nazi Germany , he was removed as governor by a joint SPÖ-ÖVP initiative and replaced by the ÖVP's Christof Zernatto add something


In the 1990s the party advocated replacing the present Second Austrian Republic with a Third Republic, since it sought a radical transformation from "a party state to a citizens' democracy add something


In the late 1990s he however chose to distance himself from Le Pen, and refused to join Le Pen's EuroNat project add something


The party's opposition to the European Union grew stronger in the 1990s add something


Elfriede Jelinek - She became a household name during the 1990s due to her vociferous clash with Jörg Haider's far-right Freedom Party


Ewald Stadler - In addition, from 1991 to 1994 Stadler was head of the "Landtag" caucus of the Vorarlberg Freedom Party


In 1993, after a controversial proposal on immigration issues, the adherents of a position closer to classical liberalism in the FPÖ broke away and formed the Liberal Forum add something


Heide Schmidt - A lawyer and formerly a prominent member of Jörg Haider's Austrian Freedom Party , in 1993 Schmidt was one of a group of politicians who, because of Haider's increasingly right-wing verbal politics, seceded from the FPÖ and founded the Liberal Forum


Some observers noted an inconsistency in that there had been no sanctions against Italy when the post-fascist Italian Social Movement/National Alliance had become part of government of that country in 1994 add something


The FPÖ opposed Austria's joining the EU in 1994, and promoted a popular initiative against the replacement of the Austrian schilling with the Euro in 1998, but to no avail add something


In 1995 Haider declared an end to pan-Germanism in the party, and in the 1997 party manifesto the former community of "German people" was replaced with the "Austrian people" add something


In 1999, Haider was again elected Governor of Carinthia add something


Elfriede Jelinek - Following the 1999 National Council elections and the subsequent formation of a coalition cabinet consisting of the Freedom Party and the Austrian People's Party, Jelinek became one of the new cabinet's most vocal critics


Kronen Zeitung - Many Austrian intellectuals hold the "Kronen Zeitung" responsible for the gains of the far-right Freedom Party in the 1999 elections, claiming its journalism is selective to an unacceptable degree


Following the FPÖ's entrance in government in 2000, Haider sought to establish his own alliance of right-wing parties add something


In the late 2000s, the party combined this position with support for the welfare state add something


Its anti-establishment position proved incompatible with being in government during the first half of the 2000s, but was renewed after most of the parliamentary group left to join the BZÖ in 2005 add something


Nevertheless, in the mid- to late 2000s the FPÖ too criticised US foreign policy as promoted by Bush, which it saw as leading to increased levels of violence in the Middle East add something


The party strongly criticised the power concentrated in the hands of the elite, until the FPÖ joined the government in 2000 add something


In February 2000, the ÖVP agreed to form a coalition government with the FPÖ add something


Several prominent FPÖ government ministers resigned in the 2002 "Knittelfeld Putsch" after strong attacks by Haider, which led to new elections being called add something


Knittelfeld - The name of the town has become notorious for the Knittelfeld Putsch of September 7, 2002, a party meeting of the Freedom Party of Austria, which resulted in the 2002 Austrian elections


Iraq War - However, this changed in 2003 following Haider visiting Saddam Hussein on the eve of the Iraq War; he subsequently condemned US foreign policy and derided George W. Bush for not being very different from Hussein add something


The number of new asylum applications, for example, was reduced from 32,000 in 2003 to 13,300 in 2006 add something


Ewald Stadler - Starting in the summer of 2004, Stadler directed the Freedom Party Academy and was responsible for the training of FPÖ functionaries


The two parties agreed to continue their coalition following the election; however, increasing internal disagreements in the FPÖ led Haider and many leading party members to defect from the party in 2005 add something


After an internal row had threatened to tear the FPÖ apart, former chairman Jörg Haider followed by then-current chairman and his sister Ursula Haubner, vice chancellor Hubert Gorbach and the entire FPÖ contingent of the government left the party and on 4 April 2005 founded a new political party called the Alliance for the Future of Austria add something


On 23 April 2005 Heinz-Christian Strache was elected as new chairman of the FPÖ, taking over from interim leader Hilmar Kabas add something


By the 2006 general election, the FPÖ returned to promoting anti-immigration, anti-Islam and Eurosceptic issues add something


Ewald Stadler - Stadler was deputy chief of the Freedom Party caucus from October 30, 2006 to March 6, 2007, and was elected deputy chief of the BZÖ caucus on October 28, 2008


In 2007, the party's then-only MEP was a member of the short-lived Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty grouping in the European Parliament add something


Greater Romania Party - In January 2007, with Romania's accession to the EU România Mare's five MEPs joined a group of far-right parties in the European Parliament that included the French National Front and Austrian Freedom Party, giving them sufficient numbers to form an official bloc, called Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty


Ewald Stadler - After internal differences with the FPÖ leadership, he resigned from the party on March 7, 2007, although he remained a member of the Freedom Party caucus


By 2010, under Heinz-Christian Strache's leadership, the party became more friendly towards Israel add something


In December 2010 the FPÖ visited Israel, where they issued the "Jerusalem Declaration", which affirmed Israel's right to exist and defend itself, particularly against Islamic terror add something


After his reelection as chairman in 2011, the German aspects of the party's programme were formally reintroduced add something


At a conference in 2011, Strache and the new leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen, announced deeper cooperation between their parties add something


Liezen - As of the 2015 local elections, the SPÖ holds 13 out of 25 seats on the council, the ÖVP has 6, the FPÖ has 3, a local party known as Die LIEB has 2, and the Grünen has 1


In June 2015 the main part of the federal party section of & Salzburg split of and formed the Free Party Salzburg add something


However, on July 1 2016, the results were invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Austria due to potential fraud, after an appeal by Heinz-Christian Strache add something


Alexander Van der Bellen - He ran as a nominally independent candidate supported by the Green Party in the 2016 presidential election, and finished second out of six in the first round before winning the second round against Norbert Hofer, a member of the Freedom Party of Austria


Alexander Van der Bellen - Van der Bellen ran as a nominally independent candidate supported by the Green Party in the 2016 presidential election, and finished second in the first round before winning the second round against right-wing Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer


However, on 1 July 2016, the results were invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Austria due to potential fraud, after an appeal by the party's leader, Heinz-Christian Strache add something


The re-vote will take place on 2 October 2016 according to Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern add something


The re-vote took place on 4 December 2016 when Van der Bellen won by a significantly larger margin add something


In the 2017 Austrian legislative election, the FPÖ performed strongly, gaining eleven seats, achieving its best result since the 1999 election add something


The FPÖ entered coalition talks with the ÖVP, and in December 2017, they reached an agreement and created a coalition government add something


Heinz-Christian Strache - He has been Minister for the Civil Service and Sport since January 2018 and Chairman of the Freedom Party since April 2005


Steve King - On August 24, 2018, King was interviewed by the Austrian website "Unzensuriert" , which is connected to the country's Freedom Party, part of the governing coalition


Steve King - Pittsburgh synagogue shooting - In late October 2018, after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the Anti-Defamation League director Jonathan Greenblatt sent Paul Ryan an open letter calling upon him to censure King, citing King's relationship with Austria's far-right Freedom Party and other neo-Nazi groups in Europe


In mid-May 2019, secretly made footage was released, apparently showing Strache soliciting funds for the party from a purported Russian national add something


Kronen Zeitung - The newspaper was central to the Ibiza affair: in May 2019, undercover footage of Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache emerged, in which he stated his intent to suppress the freedom of the press in Austria and replace the free press with compliant media, essentially wanting to turn the "Krone" into a mouthpiece of the FPÖ


Heinz-Christian Strache - On 18 May 2019, in the wake of the Ibiza affair, Strache announced his resignation as vice-chancellor of Austria, minister, and chairman of the Freedom Party


The footage led to the collapse of the coalition with the ÖVP on May 20, 2019 add something