Austria's governing FPÖ party publishes anti-migrant poem comparing migrants with rats

Date: 
April, 2019
Country: 
Austria

The far-right FPÖ party in Austria has come under fire for a poem by one of their local officials that compared migrants with rats. Kurz and opposition leaders strongly condemned the racist poem. Meanwhile, the author apparently resigned.

An anti-migrant poem published by a local branch of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), the junior party of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's government coalition, has been met with widespread outrage. Kurz and other Austrian political leaders have condemned the ditty titled "The Town Rat."

The poem was written by Christian Schilcher, the FPÖ deputy mayor of the town of Braunau in Upper Austria. It used the image of foreign rats integrating with Austrian ones to illustrate the alleged dangers of "mixing" cultures and languages. In the poem, which was circulated in Braunau via a party pamphlet over Easter weekend, Schilcher also complained about Austria's "Willkommenskultur," or welcome culture, and about investments made in integration measures.

"The choice of words is disgusting, shows contempt for human beings and is deeply racist," Chancellor Kurz told the Austrian APA news agency. "The Freedom Party in Upper Austria must distance themselves from this immediately and unequivocally and issue a clarification," Kurz went on.

Kurz leads the center-right People's Party (ÖVP), which has been in coalition with the FPÖ since elections in late 2017, in which both parties ran on anti-immigration platforms.

According to media reports, Christian Schilcher, the FPÖ deputy mayor who wrote the poem, on Tuesday resigned and left the party. In case the prosecutors decide to take the investigations to trial, Schilcher might face criminal consequences.

Source: Info Migrants