Thousands of Austrians have paid hommage to far-right leader Jorg Haider who died in a high-speed car crash a week ago.
Around 30,000 mourners – including his wife and two daughters – gathered for a memorial service in the southern town of Klagenfurt, the capital of the province of Corinthia, where Haider was governor for more than a decade.
The populist leader, well-known for his anti-immigration and anti-EU policies, had hit the headlines in 2000 when the EU boycotted his far-right party’s entrance into government. Representatives from Austria’s moderate parties, including chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, attended the ceremony.
Blood tests reveal that Haider, who had left a nightclub shortly before the crash, was nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit. He was driving at more than twice the speed limit. He died just weeks after his new Alliance for the Future of Austria won significant gains in a general election.
The son of early Nazi party members, Haider had repeatedly caused furore for comments including praise for Hitler’s employment policies – over which he was forced to resign during his first mandate as governor.