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Austria mourns Haider

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Austria mourns Haider


Tributes have been pouring in in Austria for Joerg Haider, the controversial politician who was killed in a car crash yesterday.

The crash site has been covered with candles brought by his supporters, and the pictures from his final hours, chatting at the launch party for a new publication in Velden in southern Austria, have been on national television most of the day.

His car was extensively damaged, showing the violence with which it had rolled over after leaving the road. Haider’s former coalition partner and former Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel says he leaves a legacy:

“He wanted a lot of positive things, often he interfered with himself when trying to achieve those positive things, but he allowed reforms in Austria and Carinthia which would not have been possible otherwise.”

People have been queing to sign a book of rememberance in Klagenfurt’s regional parliament, but there will be others who will not regret his passing; his opponents on the left who accused him of being a neo-nazi and dangerous demagogue.

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