The Freedom Party slogan for local elections in Innsbruck translates as Love your home country instead of Moroccan thieves. The Freedom Party party backs restrictions on immigration.
OBSERVERS.france24 Innsbruck party officials said Sunday they were getting rid of the posters after Morocco threatened legal action and Austrian state prosecutors said they were considering criminal charges. August Penz, the partys local leader, said he never intended to insult anyone. (Only the Left and their Muslim partners think telling the truth about Muslims is a criminal act)
But on Monday Gerald Hauser, the head of Tyrols Freedom Party, said there was nothing wrong with the posters and urged Morocco to take back its criminals. The Freedom Party is Austrias second most popular.
My plan: Patriotism, not thieving Moroccans. This was the slogan a city council candidate plastered on 33 billboards in Innsbruck, the capital of Austrias Tyrol region, late last month. After drawing the ire of Moroccan authorities, the billboards were taken down.
The billboards touted a candidate for the Austrian Freedom Party, which, though it lost the local elections in Innsbruck this weekend, is gaining ground on the national stage. Its charismatic leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, had already caused a scandal earlier this year by saying that his partys supporters were victims of persecution and that this made them the new Jews.
According to the local press, Innsbruck, a city of 120,000 residents, is only home to about a hundred Moroccan immigrants. However they have become a visible minority, as they are for the most part undocumented young men, many of whom live on the streets. Some of them make a living dealing drugs. Local social workers argue that these young men live outside the law because they have no other option: without papers, they cannot enter the workforce.