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THOUSANDS of people protested in Vienna yesterday against the swearing-in of the new government, targeting their anger against the Islamophobic Freedom Party of Austria.
Members of anti-fascist, feminist and left-wing student groups were among the demonstrators gathered in the Heldenplatz area, near the official residences of the president and chancellor.
They held banners reading: “Nazis out,” “We don't want any nazi pigs” and “Don't let nazis govern.”
Sebastian Kurz of the conservative People’s Party became the youngest head of government in Europe at age 31 when sworn in as chancellor by President Alexander Van der Bellen.
The People’s Party and the Freedom Party have pledged to tighten asylum and immigration restrictions while retaining a firm commitment to the European Union.
Other agreed policies include ending illegal migration, cutting government bureaucracy, reducing taxes and creating a new national climate and energy strategy.
In the run-up to the general election, both parties campaigned for tighter immigration controls, swift deportations of rejected asylum-seekers and a crackdown on what they call radical Islam.
While Mr Kurz was sworn in as chancellor, Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache was appointed vice-chancellor.
Political opponents in democratic parties have expressed particular concern that the far-right party has control of the important interior, defence and foreign ministries.
The Freedom Party has publicly disassociated itself from decades of veiled anti-semitism, but it continues to attract a nazi fringe and has simply chosen to scapegoat a different minority.
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