At least 20,000 people demonstrated in Vienna on Saturday against a far-right right-wing coalition that has been ruling for more than a month in Austria and whose attitudes toward immigration and its social program are taken.
Under the slogan “New Year Reception Committee”, 20 thousand protesters, according to police, a long procession in the center of the city towards the ministries.
Organizers, who were expecting 10,000 demonstrators, said the number was between 25,000 and 50,000.
The new government, which was formed in mid-December 2017, under the chairmanship of conservative Sebastian Kortz, 31, winner of the mid-October elections, includes six ministers from the extreme right in key positions, including Heinz Christian Strahe, leader of Austria’s Freedom Party and deputy Austrian Chancellor.
“What I fear most is that this type of government is becoming familiar with the new standard,” said 55-year-old Christa, one of the protesters. “We are worried about seeing a growing national trend everywhere, not just in Austria,” said Toubia Gretika, 47, a German.
The demonstration is the first of this magnitude since the government took over its tasks and called for a coalition of leftist and anti-racist organizations. It included groups of all ages, including many families.
There were slogans reminiscent of the history of Austria 80 years after the annexation of Nazi Germany to Austria in 1938 and the establishment of a fascist regime.
“Please, not again,” he said, while another sign read, “Those who tolerate Kurtz and Scherche, they would clap in 1938.”
Anna, 23, said she was demonstrating against “a government that wants to divide society, attack minorities, bite women’s rights and strike solidarity.” Another demonstrator expressed concern about promoting “a family style that encourages women to stay at home.”
This is the second coalition between the Conservatives and the far right after a first experiment in early 2000.
The two-party coalition was then the subject of international rejection and called for European sanctions. Austria has seen several demonstrations, the largest of which is 250,000 demonstrators.
The new majority won about 60 percent of the vote in the October 15, 2017 parliamentary elections, 10 years after a centrist coalition between the right and Social Democrats.