On Austria

Brussels, Belgium, 7-8 April 2000

Statement

Socialist International Women is deeply concerned about recent developments in Austria which resulted in the far-right Freedom Party joining the Austrian government.

Massive demonstrations in Vienna and other capitals against the government showed the emotions of thousands of people in Europe and beyond.

Far-right parties violate the principles of freedom and democracy and denigrate women's rights. The inclusion of the Freedom Party, proponent of xenophobia and intolerance, may endanger the enlargement of the European Union.

Socialist International Women therefore:

  • welcomes the rejection of the participation of the Freedom Party in the Austriangovernment by the European Parliament;
  • deplores the abolition of the Austrian Ministry for Women;
  • denouncesthe planned cuts in expenditure on social services which will affect especially women; and
  • callson its member organisations to support the Austrian Social Democratic Women in fighting racism and xenophobia.

 

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