A prominent Austrian Jewish leader on Tuesday condemned the European Parliament's new far-right faction as racist and anti-Semitic, saying it would likely have been banned in Austria.
Earlier this month, some of Europe's most high-profile far-right politicians united in a new political grouping that brings together some big names from the far right of European politics, including France's Jean-Marie Le Pen and Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of Italy's wartime Fascist leader. Andreas Moelzer, a member of Austria's rightist Freedom Party, is also a member.
"Such a grouping would most likely be forbidden in Austria," Ariel Muzicant, president of Vienna's Jewish Community, told reporters in the Austrian capital. He said Moelzer was the group's "architect."
As an official grouping, Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty - known as ITS for short - is eligible for increased speaking time, more attractive time slots and several hundred thousand dollars (euros) in EU funding.
According to Muzicant, the faction consists of people who published the names and addresses of Jews on the Internet and that openly called for the expulsion and murder of Gypsies and Jews.