Haider, Jörg

Haider, Jörg
   Born in Upper Austria, Haider began his political career as a spokesman for the national wing of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) in Carinthia. He led the party between 1986 and 2005. Trained in legal studies, he served as governor of the province from 1989 to 1991. During the latter year, a favorable remark he made during a debate in the regional legislature about Nazi employment policies led to demands for his resignation from liberal circles abroad and the Austrian federal government. On 21 June 1991, Haider lost a no-confidence vote in the Carinthian State Diet initiated by the Socialist Party of Austria and supported by representatives of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). In the regional state elections of 1991, however, the FPÖ gained votes. In 2000 he joined with the ÖVP, led by Wolfgang Schüssel, in a controversial coalition that drew sanctions from the European Union. In 2005, he broke with the FPÖ to launch another party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). In an election in September 2008, the BZÖ tripled its vote over its last performance, winning 40 percent of the electorate in Carinthia and 11 percent nationally. A month later, Haider was killed in a car crash in which he was driving alone.
   See also Asylum; Political Parties.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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