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28. 01. 10. - 16:00

Jewish community slams FP's contact with Jobbik

The Austrian Jewish Community (IKG) yesterday (Weds) condemned a recent Freedom Party (FP) meeting with the far-right Hungarian Jobbik party.

IKG said it was angry that "democratic parties had said nothing" about the FP֒s contact with "the openly neo-fascist Hungarian Jobbik party."

FP foreign affairs spokesman and MP Johannes Hbner admitted yesterday that Jobbik members had visited the FP parliamentary club a few weeks ago.

He added he had also had a brief discussion with some of them at a Budapest general election campaign event on 16 January.

But Jobbik members have claimed that Hbner had discussed possible cooperation with Jobbik members during his visit to Budapest.

His visit had been his "first contact" with Jobbik, Hbner claimed, adding there would not be any cooperation between the two parties.

Hungarian analysts have said that Jobbik, which is not represented in Hungarys Parliament, is likely to win seats in the general election this April.

Jobbik founded a pan-European association of right-wing parties last October in Budapest and Jobbik deputy leader Zoltan Balczo said at the time his party would hold talks with the FP.

Hbner said there had been no such talks and the FP had not become a member of the association.

Meanwhile, the FP continues to improve its standing in public-opinion polls in Austria.

The right-wing party could treble its representation in Burgenlands provincial parliament as debate rages over a third asylum seekers centre in Austria, a new poll has shown.

Results of the survey conducted by Graz-based public opinion agency GMK for the Bezirksbltter publishing group released yesterday show support for the party running at 15 per cent. Elections in the province are set to take place at the end of May.

In the 2005 provincial elections, the party came in third by a narrow margin ahead of the Greens (5.21 per cent) by reaching just 5.75 per cent.

The FP opposes the setting up of a third asylum seekers centre and has called on Peoples Party (VP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter to speed up legal proceedings on deportation of asylum seekers.

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