Heinz-Christian Strache

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Heinz-Christian Strache
2017 ORF-Elefantenrunde (37410230120) (cropped).jpg
39th Vice-Chancellor of Austria
Assumed office
18 December 2017
President Alexander Van der Bellen
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
Preceded by Wolfgang Brandstetter
Minister of the
Civil Service and Sport
Assumed office
8 January 2018
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
Preceded by office established
Chairman of the Freedom Party
Assumed office
23 April 2005
Deputy Johann Gudenus
Norbert Hofer
Mario Kunasek
Secretary-General Christian Hafenecker
Harald Vilimsky
Preceded by Hilmar Kabas (Acting)
Personal details
Born Heinz-Christian Strache
(1969-06-12) 12 June 1969 (age 49)
Vienna, Austria
Political party Freedom Party
Spouse(s) Daniela Plachutta
(m. 1999; div. 2006)
Philippa Beck
(m. 2016)
Children 2
Alma mater University of Vienna
Signature

Heinz-Christian Strache (born 12 June 1969) is an Austrian politician serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Austria since 2017. He also has been Minister for the Civil Service and Sport since January 2018 and Chairman of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) since April 2005.[1] He previously served as a member of the National Council from October 2006 until December 2017 and as a member of the Gemeinderat and Landtag of Vienna (2001–2006).

Rise to national party leader

Strache, who is by profession a dental technician, has been active in the politics of Vienna since 1991. He was elected to the Vienna Parliament in 2001. In 2004, he replaced Hilmar Kabas as the leader of the FPÖ in Vienna. He had been considered a disciple of long-time national party leader Jörg Haider, but began to oppose him as the result of increased strife within the party in January 2005.

After a series of losses in state elections, rumours spread that Strache would run for the office of national party leader against Haider's sister, Ursula Haubner. The high risk of Haubner's defeat was probably one of the events that induced Haider to set up a new party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). After the split, Strache was elected national party leader of the FPÖ on 23 April 2005.

State elections and campaign in Vienna

Heinz-Christian Strache in 2008.

Since the split, Strache has led the party further to the right. The FPÖ's results in state elections in the last decade have been mixed. While it dropped out of the Styria Landtag and was reduced to 5.7% in Burgenland, it surpassed expectations in the Vienna elections of October 2005. Strache himself was the leading candidate in Vienna, and the party received 14.9% of votes. Strache's campaign, included slogans such as:

  • Wien darf nicht Istanbul werden (Vienna must not become Istanbul). A variation on an FPÖ slogan from the Haider era: Wien darf nicht Chicago werden. Vienna has a significant Turkish minority, the FPÖ is opposed to Turkish EU membership and it refers to the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, a symbolic historic victory of the West over Islamic and Ottoman onslaught.
  • Daham statt Islam ("at home" [i.e., folks who are native to Austria] instead of Islam)
  • Deutsch statt "nix verstehen" (German instead of "nothing understanding")
  • Pummerin statt Muezzin (Pummerin instead of muezzin). Pummerin is the main bell in St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna, and so a religious Christian symbol in Vienna.
  • Heimat im Herzen (Homeland in the heart)
  • Arbeit statt Zuwanderung (Jobs instead of immigration)

2010 Vienna elections

In the 2010 Vienna elections for Mayor of Vienna, Vienna City Council, and district councils, Strache's party received 26% of the vote and increased their number of seats in the city council to 27.[2] His support was strongest among young people under 30.[3]

The campaign included slogans such as:

  • Zu viel Fremdes tut niemandem gut. (Too many foreigners [or more literally: Too much foreign] does nobody well.)
  • Wir bewahren unsere Heimatstadt. Die SPÖ macht sie uns fremd. (We maintain our homeland-city. The SPÖ makes it foreign.)
  • Wir glauben an unsere Jugend. Die SPÖ an Zuwanderung. (We believe in our youth. The SPÖ in immigration.)
  • Wir schützen freie Frauen. Die SPÖ den Kopftuchzwang (We protect free women. The SPÖ protects the compulsory veil.)
  • Mehr Mut für unser Wiener Blut (More courage for our Viennese blood.)
  • Uns geht's um die Wiener (To us, it's about the Viennese)

Strache was once again accused of xenophobia during his campaign and responded formally in the press to the allegations.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Austria far right: Freedom Party wins key posts in new government". BBC News. 16 December 2017. 
  2. ^ City of Vienna 2010 Election Results
  3. ^ Strache support stronger among youth, in Heute
  4. ^ Strache says, "I am not unfriendly to foreigners." in Heute

External links

  • Strache's website
Political offices
Preceded by
Wolfgang Brandstetter
Vice-Chancellor of Austria
2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hilmar Kabas
Acting
Leader of the Freedom Party
2005–present
Incumbent
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