wandeljw wrote: Quote:
Some information on this thread - he was the (far right) Landeshauptmann ("state captain", premier minister/governor) of Carinthia.
Of course! How could we forget?
Walter's a bit formalistic - Haider is better known as the uncontested leader of the Austrian far right for a decade and a half (until it split into two a few years ago).
He took over the leadership of a small rightwing party in the mid-eighties and led it from its 5% of the vote to 27% in the 2000 elections, when it became the country's second-largest party. He did so by shamelessly exploiting every xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant and occasionally anti-semitic prejudice in the country, and Austria has plenty of those.
In so doing, he became one of Europe's two or three most well-known and influential far-right leaders. When the Austrian conservatives to establish a coalition government with Haider's party after the 2000 elections, it led to a crisis in the EU, as EU leaders decided on a boycott of sorts of the Austrian government only to be forced to give up after a year or two.
Haider's star had fallen somewhat this decade, but in this year's elections his new, own party got 11% of the vote while his former party, which remained equally far right, got 18%. Together they pooled the best ever result for the far right since WW2 in Austria ... and in Europe.
In short, this is not some obscure regional leader; Haider was one of the most notorious figures of contemporary European politics.
I had a blog post up about this: Haider’s death offers little hope for the fight against the far right
. That was before this latest news though... you cant make this **** up, eh?