• Austria's news in English
 
Conchita fallout
Russia wants its own 'straight' Eurovision
Russia's Tolmachevy Twins - more family friendly? Photo: Wikimedia

Russia wants its own 'straight' Eurovision

Published: 13 May 2014 13:21 GMT+02:00

Russian lawmakers have proposed creating their own version of Eurovision after Europe's premier song competition was won by a bearded Austrian drag queen who promotes gay rights.

Lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled parliament picked up on swelling outrage in the socially conservative country at Conchita Wurst's weekend triumph by proposing a Russian-based contest in which family values prevail.

"The last Eurovision contest's results exhausted our patience," Communist Party deputy Valery Rashkin told the Interfax news agency.

"We must leave this competition. We cannot tolerate this endless madness."

Rashkin said he would push for the creation of a "Voice of Eurasia" songfest instead, which would primarily group nations from the former Soviet Union.

It was a suggestion picked up quickly by advisers to Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko - a ruler who has overseen his isolated country for 20 years and was once branded by Washington as the last dictator of Europe.

"Conchita Wurst's Eurovision victory symbolizes the complete collapse of the European Union's moral values," the country's advisory Slavic Committee said in a statement.

"We do not need Europe!"

Eurovision is an annual contest in which millions of viewers from across the continent vote for their favourite performers and the points are allotted by nations in which the fans are based.

Wurst - a 25-year-old singer from Austria whose real name is Tom Neuwirth - received most points from countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands.

"Why am I not surprised?" state television contest commentator Dmitry Guberniev remarked when the Netherlands - famous for its social tolerance - awarded its "douze points" to the Austrian drag queen.

Russia's much more traditional love song performed by two 17-year-old identical twins placed seventh and was backed most heavily by its allies in Belarus and Azerbaijan.

Saturday's final in Copenhagen was shadowed by politics and public anger at Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

Russia was booed a number of times during the final and the twins themselves were jeered while performing their semi-finals act.

A part of the Danish fans' anger appeared to stem from Russia's adoption last year of a harsh law banning the "propaganda" of homosexual relationships to minors.

One of the authors of the legislation proposed on Tuesday barring Conchita Wurst from even entering Russia.

Wurst's victory has also spawned an online protest campaign in which Russian men post pictures of themselves shaving on various social networks.

AFP/The Local (rosie.waites@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Activists to protest against TTIP trade deal
Photo: Popularresistance.org

Activists to protest against TTIP trade deal

Activists are taking to the streets on Saturday across Austria to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a free trade deal being negotiated between the US and EU countries. READ  

Students flag up 'mould and brown water'
Photo: Facebook.com

Students flag up 'mould and brown water'

Students at a boarding school in Oberwart, Burgenland have started a Facebook campaign to highlight the appalling conditions they have to live with - including brown water from the taps, mould on the walls, and free-hanging electrical cables. READ  

11-year-old stabs father to defend mother
File photo: Shutterstock

11-year-old stabs father to defend mother

A man from Vienna is in intensive care after seriously injuring his wife and then being stabbed in the back by his 11-year-old son, who was trying to protect his mother. READ  

Salzburg city to introduce begging ban

Salzburg city to introduce begging ban

The city of Salzburg has confirmed that it will outlaw begging in many parts of the city centre, as well as in markets and cemeteries. The local government will agree on the terms of the ban by May 20th. READ  

Nazi salute suspects identified from demo
Pegida in Linz. Photo: Martin Juen/Flickr

Nazi salute suspects identified from demo

Four suspects captured on camera making Nazi salutes during Austria's first PEGIDA demonstration on February 2nd have been identified by police. READ  

4,000 Austrians drink-drive without a licence
Photo: James Palisad/Flickr

4,000 Austrians drink-drive without a licence

Around 26,000 motorists lose their license every year in Austria due to drink driving, and 4,000 continued to drive over the limit without a licence according to a report from the Austrian Road Safety Board (KFV). READ  

Gold prospector irks Salzach fishermen
The method is meant to be more efficient than panning for gold. Photo: Janothird/Wikimedia

Gold prospector irks Salzach fishermen

An entrepreneur from Bischofshofen in Salzburg has irked local fishermen by announcing that he plans to search the Salzach river for gold with a special gadget that is similar to a vacuum cleaner. READ  

Austria must control ‘revolving lobbying door’

Austria must control ‘revolving lobbying door’

Austria was one of just seven countries surveyed by Transparency International to have regulations on lobbyists’ impact in politics, but still fell short in reining in undue influence. READ  

Missing lynx 'found in taxidermist's freezer'
Jura. Photo: NATIONALPARK KALKALPEN

Missing lynx 'found in taxidermist's freezer'

The mystery of a missing lynx from the Kalkalpen national park in Upper Austria may have been solved. According to a report in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper police found the body of a wildcat in the freezer of a local taxidermist in Linz - after being tipped off by a member of the public. READ  

Rosetta mission findings stun scientists
An artist's view of Rosetta, the European Space Agency's cometary probe with NASA contributions. Photo: JPL/CIT

Rosetta mission findings stun scientists

In a new twist in a landmark exploration, Europe's comet-chasing Rosetta mission has found that its target, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has no magnetic field, scientists reported Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Ten 'false friends' to watch out for when learning German
Features
Could climate change influence the music we listen to?
Five unusual cafes we recommend visiting in Vienna
National
Vienna museum showcases city's shocking 'Actionist' art movement
Features
The woman behind Gymboree Vienna - helping young children learn as they play
National
Your guide to celebrating Easter in Austria
Features
Help Me Helen: How to recognise if you're in denial
Features
The 'world's most beautiful boulevard' turns 150
Features
Why the ghost of Jörg Haider haunts Austria's finances
National
Vienna: 'Best city in the world'
Features
Why multicultural couples can combine the 'best of both worlds'
Society
Kampusch judge in perjury acquittal
Features
Help Me Helen: How to avoid saying things you'll later regret
National
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Austria
Culture
Austrian gourmet cuisine proves to be a highlight in London
Culture
Pickled herring on Ash Wednesday - a culinary treat
Features
How superstitious are Austrians? The Local lists a few of the stranger ideas
Features
British musician Tall William on mapping Vienna's music scene
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Features
Nine things to know before dating an Austrian
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Celebrating immigration with beautiful accessories
Gallery
Sponsored: Fun factory for the under-fives
Health
Help Me Helen: How to avoid invalidating others
International
How should Austria respond to Russia's new aggressive foreign policy?
Health
Expat Profile: Helen Rudinsky
Features
How Austria's music scene inspired the pioneer of Electro Swing
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Features
Bitcoins are growing in Austria - but what are they?
National
12,000 support IAmCharlie in Vienna
Health
Gender identity is all in your head.
Technology
How to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus
Gallery
Daniel Craig enjoys the view with Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista
Culture
Celebrate an Austrian New Year with The Local
National
Top stories on The Local in 2014
Culture
Our pick of the best German language idioms
Travel & Tourism
The most common mistakes tourists make in Austria
Society
Afghan refugees get integration help
Society
Waiting to be smuggled into Austria after a tortuous journey
Culture
Facing up to death over coffee and cake
Gallery
What foods did Austrians search the most in 2014?
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Society
Vienna's Ring is about to celebrate its 150th birthday
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,474
jobs available