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FPOe leaders to discuss Moezler resignation this week

Austria's Freedom Party (FPOe) is due to host discussions this week about whether their candidate for EU parliament elections should resign following his remarks about the EU becoming a "conglomerate of negroes".

Andreas Moelzer made the comments at an event in February during an event about a book from another right-winger. In the same month at a meeting in Vienna he also caused controversy by saying that Hitler's Nazi rule "certainly did not have as many rules and regulations, commandments and bans" as the European Union, which is a dictatorship that makes the Third Reich look "possibly...liberal".

FPOe party leader Heinz-Christian Strache has distanced himself from the comments and is reportedly due to speak personally with Moelzer today. "Andreas Moelzer is not the party's chief ideologue," he said. Strache said that he did not want to comment on whether Moelzer should resign before a party leadership meeting takes place this Wednesday where the subject will be discussed.

The FPOe leader has also criticised an article that appeared in the weekly newspaper FX Seltsam published by Moezler where Austrian footballer David Alaba was described as "raven black" and an example of what today's Viennese had come to.

"Alaba is a great person, an exceptional footballer and an absolutely positive example of integration," Strache said. "This article is insulting and tasteless, whoever wrote it."

Calls have been made for Moelzer, who is due to run for candidacy in the EU Parliament come elections this May, to drop his campaign following the run of controversies. Criticisms have come from other populist parties that have been building alliances with the FPOe, as well as from a leader of Austria's Jewish community.

Austrian author Michael Koehlmeier also last week called for a formal complaint to be brought against Moelzer and have police investigate whether his comments are hate speech.

Moelzer has apologised for his comments about the dangers of the EU becoming a "conglomerate of negroes" and denied he is the author of the article about Alaba.

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