• Austria's news in English

Profile: Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ)

Staff reporter · 24 May 2014, 08:39

Published: 21 May 2014 18:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 May 2014 08:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Strache, a former dental technician who replaced Hilmar Kabas as the leader of the Vienna branch of the FPÖ, is poised to see the right-wing party (often associated with the colour blue in Austrian politics) which he now chairs make considerable gains in upcoming EU elections.

He was elected national party leader of the FPÖ in April 2005, when a faction of the party split away under the leadership of the late Jörg Haider to form the more moderate Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ.)  

He's recently been in the news with a controversial rap video, which plays on Austrians' patriotic feelings.  The Local doesn't expect his chances of representing Austria in the next Eurovision Song Contest to be highly rated, regardless of his electoral success.

The Austrian Freedom Party is a natural ally of other European right wing parties, who are primarily concerned with their common grievances against Islam, immigration and ethnic minorities like the Roma.

Strache was for many years seen as a disciple and the natural successor of Haider until the split, which was likely triggered by the anticipated electoral defeat of Haider's sister.

In 2010 Strache's party received 26% of the vote in Vienna's mayoral and council elections, increasing their seats in the city council to 27.  His supporters tend to be aged under 30 years.

Story continues below…

Strache has strong links to the right-wing student fraternities known as the Burschenschaften, which seek pan-German unity and nationalism.  He readily acknowledges his membership of the secretive Vandalia organization, as was quoted in 2009 by the UK's Daily Mail. ‘The Burschenschaften was founded during the wars against Napoleon Bonaparte in the beginning of the 19th century. These are the historical origins I am proud of,’ he wrote.

According to his website, his favourite film is Mel Gibson's Braveheart. In general, Strache and his party seek to embody the virtues of patriotism, traditional family values, Christianity and strong euro scepticism. 

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available