The head of Vienna’s Jewish community is warning of the dangers of including the right-wing Freedom Party in the Austrian government, asserting that it remains xenophobic despite its newly moderate tone.
Oskar Deutsch says even if the “nationalistic wolf puts on a … sheepskin, it changes only its appearance and not character.”
Deutsch’s weekend social-media posting comes as the People’s Party prepares to seek a coalition partner after winning elections. The Freedom Party is seen as its most probable partner given that both parties campaigned on an anti-migrant platform.
Freedom Party head Heinz-Christian Strache has sought to reach out to voters that reject extremist messages by toning down his inflammatory rhetoric. He also has tried to move the party away from anti-Semitism, but it continues to attract the neo-Nazi fringe.