- In an interview unlikely to endear him to Britain, Austria's
far-right politician Joerg Haider on Sunday described London's wartime
leader, Winston Churchill, as "one of the greatest criminals"
of the 20th century.
- In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the leader
of the Freedom Party said Churchill had been responsible for destroying
the German city of Dresden during World War II.
- Haider, whose party's presence in a coalition government
has prompted an EU threat of isolation against Austria, said: "With
Churchill there are a lot of bad things -- and a lot of honour.
- "He did right and wrong. That's the fate of an important
- Asked what Churchill had done wrong, Haider said: "The
bad things were like the decision to destroy cities such as Dresden, where
there were no soldiers of the German army.
- "There were only citizens".
- Haider implied Austrians would not be upset by the decision
of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to cancel a planned visit
in May in protest at his election.
- He was said to have snorted "derisively" at
- "The Austrian people would have been disappointed
if Diana had been coming, and then cancelled," Haider remarked. "But
this" -- he paused -- "is not the case".
- He also paused before saying whether he would have joined
the Nazis, as his father had done.
- "It's not easy to say ... because with the privilege
of hindsight you know exactly what you have to do".
- Then he grinned: "I think I would have been in prison
during the Nazi period, because I am a fighter for freedom and not for
- During the interview, Haider insisted his party was not
anti-European and said he respected the referendum result which took Austria
into the European Union.
- He also expressed admiration for British Prime Minister
- "Well, if you compare our programme with the programme
of Blair, you will find a lot of similarities ... He is protecting England
against criminals, the same thing we want to do.
- "He wants to have lifelong observation of criminals
who hurt children, these are similar to our proposals, as well as the programme
to provide jobs for the young generation, to reduce youth unemployment".
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
Site Served by TheHostPros