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24 Jan 2020 | 07:06 AM UTC

Austria: Far-right party to hold event in Vienna January 24

The far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) will hold its annual Wiener Akademiker Ball in Vienna on January 24; heightened security presence and transportation disruptions expected, counter-protests likely

security
transportation
AUT

Event

The far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is scheduled to hold its annual Wiener Akademiker Ball at the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) starting at 18:00 (local time) on Friday, January 24. Various related events will take place across the city while police forces have indicated they will ban entry to the Heldenplatz area from 17:00 onward. An opposition demonstration will also take place at the Schottentor metro station from 17:00 to 20:00.

Clashes between supporters of the diverse groups cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near all demonstration sites as protests against related events have turned violent in the past.

Context

The Wiener Akademiker Ball has been held annually by the FPÖ since 2013. The ball is typically attended by right-wing and far-right members of European political parties, drawing intense public criticism and annual protests. Demonstrations have often resulted in clashes between police and demonstrators.

Advice

Individuals in Vienna and other urban areas are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.