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Populism Wins Austria

  • Populism has won a decisive battle in Austria and continues to make great strides as corruption scandals further discredit free traders.
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By James Harrer

A month into the new millennium, militant populism has won a decisive victory against the entrenched forces of Establishment politics in Austria -- the heart of Europe.

Austrian Provincial Governor Jˆrg Haider and his nationalist Freedom Par ty came to power Feb. 2 in a coalition government with the middle-of-the-road People's Party.

The stunning breakthrough of Haider was won in the face of opposition from anti-populist leaders around the world. Haider has long been reviled in the press for his refusal to condemn the role played by Germany, its armed forces and leaders, in World War II.

Angry threats were hurled at little Austria by such powerful figures as French President Jacques Chirac, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. liquor magnate Edgar Bronfman, a key in ternational power broker.

In an unprecedented move, the 14 nations of the European Union (EU) threatened Austria -- a member state -- with "internal exile" if Haider and his par ty join the government.

In what diplomatic sources described as an "ultimatum" and a "call to war" against populism and nationalism, globalist leaders of the EU vowed to ostracize and "isolate" any Austrian administration that included Haider.

"Austria will be under surveillance as no state has ever been," warned French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine.

"We will quarantine Austria," menaced Italian Prime Minister Massimo d'Alema.

In Washington, a White House spokes man confirmed that the Clinton administration plans to join the EU's diplomatic and economic offensive against Austria.

The only sane reaction to Haider's victory came from the French populist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who reminded his strident European colleagues that Haider "democratically won almost 30 percent of the vote and, according to elementary rules of democracy, should be able to take part in a coalition government."

The struggle pitting populism against plutocracy, nationalism against globalism, "is out in the open," said Dr. Armand Gaulthier, a Canadian political scientist whose book on the coming clash of ideologies will be published in New York this fall.

"Populism has now won the first big battle in Austria, but the war is just beginning," cautioned this scholarly ob server.

Behind the scenes, the onslaught of internationalist intervention against Austria's democratic power-sharing agree ment is being driven by frightened Ger man politicians, according to corres pondent Roger Cohen, who covers the EU for The New York Times.

"The Christian Democratic Party, the main conservative party of Eur ope's most powerful country -- Germany -- is in se vere disarray as a result of a fundraising scandal, prompting fears that voters will migrate to rightist parties," Cohen noted.

In fact, the global ruling financial elites are embattled on more than one front. Their corrupt web of worldwide influence is being unraveled by determined investigators.

In Switzerland, prosecutors charged Pavel Borodin, former President Boris Yeltsin's Kremlin quartermaster and personnel chief, with a 24-count money-laundering and bribery indictment.

The million-dollar payoffs involved in this affair came from major international corporations doing business with the Kremlin and went directly to Yeltsin.

Some of the same corrupt conglomerates are behind an even more startling new scandal: the full-scale criminal investigation of recently-elected Barak and Israel's five leading political parties.

According to the report issued on Feb. 1 by the state let's attorney general, preliminary findings suggest that Israel's entire political Establishment has been living on payoffs extorted from "illegal foreign and criminal sources."

"That discovery has strengthened the populist movement and promises a new alignment of political forces around the world," said Dr. Paul Adler, the respected international economist.