Austria: Protests in Vienna over far-right in coalition

Protesters carry posters reading "don't let Nazis govern" in Vienna, Austria, 13 January 2018.Image copyright

Image caption

Protesters carried posters reading “don’t let Nazis govern”

Protests have taken place in the Austrian capital of Vienna over the inclusion of the far-right Freedom Party in the new coalition government.

Police said at least 20,000 people attended the rally, although organisers put the number at double that.

Families with children walked alongside marchers chanting “Nazis out!”, a BBC correspondent there reported.

The Freedom Party’s interior minister caused outrage earlier this week with his comments over asylum seekers.

Herbert Kickl suggested that asylum seekers should be kept concentrated in one place, using a term associated with Nazi prisoners and death camps.

Noisy but peaceful

The Freedom Party joined a coalition with the conservative People’s Party after October’s election failed to yield a concrete result.

The People’s Party’s Sebastian Kurz is the world’s youngest head of government; the Freedom Party has secured several key ministries, including the interior ministry.

Saturday’s march to Heroes Square in central Vienna was noisy but peaceful, reports the BBC’s Bethany Bell.

The crowd was made of students, left-wing organisations, families with small children and one group calling itself Grannies against the Right, she observed.

A smaller protest took place last month when the coalition government was sworn in.

Austria: Protests in Vienna over far-right in coalition

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