Austria / 09-09-2012
Austrian president condemns antisemitic cartoon
Austria's president condemned far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache for posting a cartoon on his Facebook page that was widely seen as antisemitic, the Austria Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Heinz Fischer called it "the low point of political culture, which deserves to be universally and roundly condemned".
The cartoon portrays a fat banker with a hooked nose and six-point star buttons on his sleeve gorging himself at the expense of a thin man representing "the people".
Strache denied being antisemitic after the cartoon provoked an outcry and demands from the Jewish community that Austria's political establishment condemn the act.
In a speech at the opening of a festival in Linz, Fischer said Strache was playing on the remnants of anti-Semitism in Austria, whose Jewish population was decimated after the annexation of the country by Nazi Germany in 1938.
"To that one can only say in the clearest terms: No way," Fischer said.