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Bulk of Austrian far-right extremist's funding comes from Germany

15 May 2019, 19:33 ( 10 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo Xinhua.

The majority of the 20,000 euros in funding received by the Austrian right-wing extremist Martin Sellner came from bank accounts in Germany, according to bank statements seen by German (Sueddeutscher Zeitung, NDR, WDR) and Austrian (Wiener Standard) publications on Wednesday.

   Sellner is a leading figure of the Identitarian Movement of Austria (IBOe, also known as Generation Identity), a right-wing nationalist and new right organization, which is part of a broader Europe-wide network.

   According to German media reports, Sellner received funding from around 250 people in Europe in the first three months of last year.

   The majority of donors were in Germany and made donations of between 10 and 500 euros. Only three of the donors transferred amounts in excess of 1,000 euros, according to German media.

   Donors reportedly included German artists, filmmakers, corporate executives and university professors. Some were even low-level functionaries of the German right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

   The notes attached to the donations showed the extent of support for Sellner's ideology and struggle against the alleged demise of Christianity in Europe.

   The Austrian right-wing extremist had also received a donation of 1,500 euros from the Christchurch mosque shooter in New Zealand and even had been in email contact with the terrorist, according to German newspapers.

   Last year, the public prosecutor's office in the Austrian city of Graz initiated investigations against Sellner on suspicion of establishing a criminal organization and asked for information about his accounts in Germany.

   The criminal proceedings ended with an acquittal. However, investigations are currently underway based on the suspicion that the IBOe had evaded far more than 100,000 euros in taxes, German media reports said.

   According to the German intelligence organization (BfV), in 2016, 25 percent of the known members of the German branch of the IBOe were considered to belong to right-wing extremist groups.