More neo-Nazi offences reported

The frequency of National Socialist activities is on the rise, new figures show.The justice ministry said yesterday (Thurs) that 741 people were reported for spreading neo-Nazi propaganda or engaging in crimes with a far-right political background last year, up by 39.5 per cent to 2009 when 513 such cases were dealt with by the police and state prosecutors.Forty-five people were sentenced for such crimes last year, down one from 46 in the previous year, according to the ministry which released the figures upon request by Social Democratic (SPÖ) MP Johann Maier. Long-term figures however show that the number of people found guilty of such acts has been on the rise over the past years. Just 11 people were sentenced for National Socialist activities in 1998.Meanwhile, a taxi driver in Vienna has been accused of throwing out an opera singer because of the colour of her skin.US star Angel Blue said yesterday she was ordered to get out of the vehicle moments after she entered it. “The driver said: ‘I don’t drive black women – get out!’” the 27-year-old claimed.Blue said the driver was a grey-haired Austrian aged between 50 and 60. She appealed on police to find the man, while the Association of Taxi Drivers in Vienna argued this was “impossible” considering the 4,500 cabs in the city.