Austrians keep right to give far-right the finger


Vienna (AFP)

A court has upheld the right of Austrians to give the leader of the country's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) the finger, officials confirmed on Thursday.

Heinz-Christian Strache had accused the far-left group "Linkswende" of slander after they published a video before last year's elections featuring supporters giving their reasons for saying "Fuck Strache" whilst showing their middle fingers.

Strache lost an initial judgement in the case in December and on Thursday officials confirmed to the APA news agency that his appeal before Vienna's Higher Regional Court had been rejected.

Linkswende spokesman David Albrich called the decision "a victory both for freedom of speech and of the press".

After last year's elections Strache's FPOe entered government as a junior partner to the centre-right People's Party (OeVP) of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Strache himself became vice-chancellor.