- 20. 5. 2016
- Viktor Adler Markt, 1100 Wien
- Election campaign
Friday, May 20th 2016, 5pm, atViktor Adler market in the 10th district of Vienna. It’s the final rally of presidential candidate Norbert Hofer. Interesting choice of location: relatively small for such an event, only two corners away from the localities of an obviously anarchist group (Nazis out, no Identitäre). Nevertheless, a home match for the FPÖ. The John Otti Band plays pop and dance music, getting the audience in the mood. Of course, the FPÖ anthem “Immer wieder Österreich” (Austria over and over again) is raised as well. An original composition, resulting from the fact that Rainhard Fendrich was less than thrilled to see “I am from Austria” used in FP campaign events. I wonder if Seiler & Speer will rejoice at the fact that the FPÖ use “Ham kummst” as last whipper-in before Norbert Hofer’s appearance?
But first things first. At 5:30pm, Johann Gudenus, Vienna Deputy Mayor, takes the stage. An estimated 1000-1500 listeners, exemplary working class, some with migrant backgrounds, are being moved into gear: with all of that money for refugees, with the red-green city government and its trespassings, with the new Chancellor selling old wine in new bottles (a saying already familiar from the media and also quoted by Strache later), with Brussels’ bureaucrats centrally deciding over everything. Van der Bellen, he hardly mentions at all.
Short break (incl. FPÖ anthem), then finally Norbert Hofer appears. With a presidential bearing, much like in the entire election campaign, he repeats all his famous slogans: President of the Austrian people, control of the government, their dismissal in the event of tax increases, abolishment of the principle of unanimity in the European Council, a referendum in case of EU accession of Turkey, a mention of his accident and his wife, who unfortunately can not be there because of having to work as a geriatric nurse. Restrained criticism of the ORF (which Strache makes good for, later). At the end comes the question: “Do you want to get into the Hofburg together with me?”. Loud cheers. Hofer speaks little about his opponent, as well – if at all, then indirectly – for example when he mentions the elites (Juncker, Schulz) who support the Green politician. No right-wing slogans are heard, not even here, in quasi beer tent atmosphere.
After a few songs, party leader Strache has the word. He tirelessly critizises the red-green government in Vienna and finally in particular the new chancellor and ministers, along with the Secretary of State who has a migration background. Again, hardly any mention of Hofer’s actual opposition candidates. One gets the feeling here (as in most of the FPÖ mailers about government reshuffle), that the FPÖ is already taking precautions for the next parliamentary elections and wants to fight the currently most dangerous opponent for first place – should his policy be successful, that is – Christian Kern, from the start.
Most listeners (surprisingly for me) were there for Norbert Hofer, and he also got the most applause. The police presence was relatively large (I estimate 50-60 officials). There was a relaxed mood throughout, no counter-demonstrations or attempts to disrupt took place. A lot of media was present, the camera density was high. In a side street, I even discovered the car of an Arab station.
Translation from German: Serena Nebo
|FPÖ Wahlkampf Mai 2016_2||Christian Janisch||CC BY SA 4.0|
|2016-05-20 17.23.02||Christian Janisch||CC BY SA 4.0|
|FPÖ Wahlkampf Mai 2016_4||Christian Janisch||CC BY SA 4.0|
|FPÖ Wahlkampf Mai 2016_5||Christian Janisch||CC BY SA 4.0|