THE ONGOING movement against the far right in Austria has inflicted significant losses on the Freedom Party in elections in the capital, Vienna. The Freedom Party is a junior partner to the Tory People's Party in the Austrian government, and won 29 percent of the vote in a general election 18 months ago. But on Sunday its vote in council elections in Vienna, home to one in five Austrians, fell to just over 20 percent.
The Social Democrats, equivalent to the Labour Party in Britain, increased their vote to 48 percent and the Greens took 12 percent. The Freedom Party and its leading figure, Jorg Haider, ran an anti-immigrant campaign and hurled abuse at Ariel Muzicant, a leading Jewish figure. However the racist and anti-Semitic scapegoating did not reverse widespread disillusionment with the governing parties which have forced through free market policies of cuts in welfare and increased taxes on workers.
SOME 30,000 people protested in Hungary last week against plans to give employers the right to disperse workers throughout the country as they see fit.