Saturday, 2 February 2013

Nine arrested in right-wing Austria ball protest

Nine protesters have been arrested for civil disorder in demonstrations against a right-wing ball in Vienna's imperial Hofburg Palace, Austrian police said on Saturday.

More than 2,500 joined protests against the Academics' Ball on Friday night which was hosted by Austria's far-right Freedom Party and has in the past attracted right-wing icons such as France's Marine le Pen.

Police had closed off a large area around the palace, which contains several museums and the office of the Austrian president, ahead of the protests by mainly green and left-wing student groups, after clashes at the event last year.

Two of the 780 ball-goers were slightly hurt, on Saturday.

Hans-Christian Strache, leader of the Freedom Party, caused outrage last year when he said right-wing sympathisers who had been intimidated by protesters as they arrived at the ball could be considered the "new Jews".

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