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|Vice Chancellor of Austria|
18 December 2017
|President||Alexander Van der Bellen|
|Preceded by||Wolfgang Brandstetter|
|Leader of the Freedom Party|
23 April 2005
|Preceded by||Hilmar Kabas (Acting)|
|Federal Minister for the Civil Service and Sport|
8 January 2018
|Preceded by||office established|
12 June 1969 |
|Political party||Freedom Party|
Heinz-Christian Strache (born 12 June 1969) is an Austrian politician (FPÖ), who has been vice-chancellor of Austria since 18 December 2017 and minister for the civil service and sport since 8 January 2018.
He was a member of parliament and former member of the Vienna city council, and has been chairman of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) since 2005. He is described as “the most experienced figure in frontline Austrian politics” and is credited with softening his party’s image and professionalising it.
Rise to national party leader
Strache, who by training is a dental technician, has been active in the politics of Vienna since 1991. In 2004, he replaced Hilmar Kabas as the leader of the Vienna FPÖ. He had been considered a disciple of long-time national party leader Jörg Haider, but began to oppose him as the result of increased strife within the party in January 2005.
After a series of losses in state elections, rumours spread that Strache would run for the office of national party leader against Haider's sister, Ursula Haubner. The high risk of Haubner's defeat was probably one of the events that induced Haider to set up a new party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). After the split, Strache was elected national party leader of the FPÖ on 23 April 2005.
State elections and campaign in Vienna
Since the split, Strache has led the party further to the right. The FPÖ's results in state elections in the last decade have been mixed. While it dropped out of the Styria Landtag and was reduced to 5.7% in Burgenland, it surpassed expectations in the Vienna elections of October 2005. Strache himself was the leading candidate in Vienna, and the party received 14.9% of votes. Strache's campaign, included slogans such as:
- Wien darf nicht Istanbul werden (Vienna must not become Istanbul). A variation on an FPÖ slogan from the Haider era: Wien darf nicht Chicago werden. Vienna has a significant Turkish minority, the FPÖ is opposed to Turkish EU membership and it refers to the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, a symbolic historic victory of the West over Islam.
- Daham statt Islam ("at home" [i.e., folks who are native to Austria] instead of Islam)
- Deutsch statt "nix verstehen" (German instead of "we don't understand")
- Pummerin statt Muezzin (Pummerin instead of muezzin). Pummerin is the main bell in St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna, and so a religious Christian symbol in Vienna.
- Heimat im Herzen (homeland in the heart)
- Arbeit statt Zuwanderung (jobs instead of immigration)
2010 Vienna elections
In the 2010 Vienna elections for mayor, city council, and district councils, Strache's party received 26% of the vote and increased their number of seats in the city council to 27. His support was strongest among young people under 30.
The campaign included slogans such as:
- Zu viel Fremdes tut niemandem gut. (Too many foreigners [or more literally: Too much foreign] does nobody well.)
- Wir bewahren unsere Heimatstadt. Die SPÖ macht sie uns fremd. (We maintain our homeland-city. The SPÖ makes it foreign.)
- Wir glauben an unsere Jugend. Die SPÖ an Zuwanderung. (We believe in our youth. The SPÖ in immigration.)
- Wir schützen freie Frauen. Die SPÖ den Kopftuchzwang (We protect free women. The SPÖ protects the compulsory veil.)
- Mehr Mut für unser Wiener Blut (More courage for our Viennese blood.)
- Uns geht's um die Wiener (To us, it's about the Viennese)
Strache was once again accused of xenophobia during his campaign and responded formally in the press to the allegations.
- "Austria far right: Freedom Party wins key posts in new government". BBC News. 16 December 2017.
- J.C. (15 October 2017). "Austria heads for a new, conservative-nationalist government". The Economist.
- City of Vienna 2010 Election Results
- Strache support stronger among youth, in Heute
- Strache says, "I am not unfriendly to foreigners." in Heute
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Heinz-Christian Strache.|
|Vice-Chancellor of Austria
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Freedom Party