Jewish community slams FPÖ’s contact with Jobbik

The Austrian Jewish Community (IKG) yesterday (Weds) condemned a recent Freedom Party (FPÖ) 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.”FPÖ foreign affairs spokesman and MP Johannes Hübner admitted yesterday that Jobbik members had visited the FPÖ 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 Hübner had discussed possible cooperation with Jobbik members during his visit to Budapest.His visit had been his “first contact” with Jobbik, Hübner claimed, adding there would not be any cooperation between the two parties.Hungarian analysts have said that Jobbik, which is not represented in Hungary’s 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 FPÖ.Hübner said there had been no such talks and the FPÖ had not become a member of the association.Meanwhile, the FPÖ continues to improve its standing in public-opinion polls in Austria.The right-wing party could treble its representation in Burgenland’s 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 Bezirksblätter 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 FPÖ opposes the setting up of a third asylum seekers’ centre and has called on People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Maria Fekter to speed up legal proceedings on deportation of asylum seekers.