Widespread fear of African riots’ impact on Europe

A majority of Austrians think the turmoil in North Africa and the Arab region will influence the political and economic situation in Europe.Research group Market, which interviewed more than 400 Austrians, said today (Thurs), 76 per cent expected the developments in Libya and other countries to affect current circumstances in Europe.While many Austrians reportedly brace themselves for higher mineral oil prices, 48 per cent think that the ongoing revolutionary and civil war-like occurrences will help radical Islamist groups to gain greater influence.Meanwhile, the government of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) ordered the Austrian banks to freeze all fortunes the clan of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi had deposited in their accounts.The family of the disputed politician had assets of around 1.2 billion Euros in Austria, according to the Austrian National Bank (OeNB).The SPÖ-ÖVP coalition’s appeal came shortly after the European Union (EU) agreed on sanctions against Gaddafi’s regime. The United States also blocked all accounts of the family.Gaddafi met with the late Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Carinthian Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) Governor, Jörg Haider, several times. The Libyan politician also welcomed former FPÖ Vice Chancellor, Hubert Gorbach, for talks some years ago.Viennese newspapers have claimed that Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, who attended the 2006 Vienna Opera Ball, owns a house in the Austrian capital.