Refugee row: Skydiver calls politicians idiots
The Local · 26 Jan 2016, 12:49
Published: 26 Jan 2016 12:49 GMT+01:00
In the Facebook posting Baumgartner said: "A country where you get prosecuted for fishing without a licence, but people can cross the borders without a passport, can only be governed by idiots."
Online commentators turned out in force to alternately praise him for making a stand on the asylum issue, while others accused him of blatant racism.
Stuntman Baumgartner famously jumped to earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere in 2012, and prior to that in 2003 glided across the English Channel from Dover to Calais.
The 46-year-old currently lives in Switzerland after leaving Austria in a row about the amount of taxes he has to pay. He was in America when he made the Facebook posting, which then went viral in Austria.
The positive comments the post attracted included "respect for someone with courage and common sense" through to "finally a celebrity who isn't afraid of the political circus and gives an honest opinion".
Others criticised him for acting as if he cared about Austria when in fact he was living in Switzerland.
Responding to his critics, Baumgartner called them "pubescent brats" and said that if US President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Price despite being responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians through drone strikes, then Orban should also get one for "doing the right thing and protecting his country".
The leader of the right-wing Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, said in response to Baumgartner's post: "The quote needs nothing added. It hits the nail on the head."
He also pointed out the original quote was from Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, who said: "If you live in a country in which fishing without a licence is punished in court, yet nothing happens for illegally crossing over the borders without a valid passport, then you certainly have the right to say that your country is ruled by idiots."
Story courtesy of Central European News.