Reports neo-Nazi crimes have increased in Austria could have been “easily predicted” but have little chance of “becoming a mainstream movement,” expert on immigration and political attitudes told Sputnik.
Responding to offences reported in the Austrian states of Tyrol and Upper Austria, including spraying Nazi related graffiti on walls and posting glorifications of Adolf Hitler on Facebook, Dr. Sergi Pardos-Prado from Oxford University suggested an increase in support for populist parties has led to a “legitimization of radical movements.”
“Populist parties like UKIP and the AFD legitimize the small but very radical Nazi-movement and that’s when you witness the graffiti and increase in hate crime in Europe,” Dr. Pardos-Prado said.
“I don’t suspect this movement has any chance of becoming a mainstream movement. It’s very attractive for the media to report on it — and it’s very scary and shocking considering Europe’s history — but it is a minority movement that is becoming legitimized by populist parties and magnified by all of us.”
Dr. Pardos-Prado who is currently presenting his academic research at conferences across Europe, told Sputnik it is important to distinguish the difference between the neo-Nazi movement in some corners of Eastern and Central Europe from the populist and anti-immigrant parties in the rest of Europe.
“Both of course are anti-immigrant and both respond to different narratives and ideologies.”