Austria bans hidden Islamist and Nazi codes on license plates
The daily Kleine Zeitung reports that yesterday an amendment came into effect in Austria banning the use of hidden Nazi codes on personalized license plates. The original list of banned abbreviations such as HJ (for the youth organization Hitlerjugend), NSDAP (for the Nazi party) and SS (for the elite Nazi fighting unit) was expanded to include, for example, the number 420, which references April 20th, Hitler's birthday.
The National Council, one of the chambers of the Austrian Parliament, approved the amendment unanimously in mid-June. The law had previously also banned defamatory or derogatory combinations of letters and numbers on personalized license plates.
Among the more than 30 newly-banned codes used by the ultra-right scene are the numbers 18, 88 and 1919, which refer to the letters of the alphabet that begin the name Adolf Hitler (AH = 18), the Nazi greeting Heil Hitler (HH = 18) and the SS organization (SS = 1919). The other banned combinations of letters are FG for Führers Geburtstag (the Führer's birthday) or WP for White Power.
"There is no place in our society for Nazi ideology. In this area, nothing is trivial," Austrian Transportation Minister Alois Stöger said today.
The banned abbreviations, however, do not just concern the neo-Nazi scene, but also radical Islamists. Personalized license plates will not be able to feature, for example, the abbreviations IS or ISIS, referring to the self-declared Islamic State organization, which currently controls an extensive area from Iraq to Syria.
The list of abbreviations and codes was produced for the authorities by the Mauthausen Committee in Austria, which represents former prisoners of that Nazi concentration camp. The Committee will be updating the list over time.
The measures targeting extremism, however, only concern newly-issued licenses; the existing ones will expire 15 years from their date of issue. More than half a million people in Austria have requested personalized license plates in general.
- Austria rescinds ban on adoption by same-sex couples
- Austrian authorities halt investigation into alcohol labels with images of Hitler
- Right-wing extremist incidents rose by one-third in Austria last year
- Austrian Police arrest operator of Nazi propaganda website housed on US server
- Austria takes part in international effort to help Roma
- Czech Interior Ministry: Hate speech increased in intensity last year
- Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority
- Czech Police investigating racist video posted by fanclub of ultranationalist party
- Young Romani woman was a victim of German shooting spree
- German shooting spree is being investigated as a terrorist attack
- Germany: Anti-migrant xenophobic gunman kills 11 in horrifying spree, he and his mother then found dead
- Video footage surfaces of Slovak politician bragging about throwing Romani people into a river when he was younger
- MEPs condemn rise of antisemitism in Europe, Czech MEP defends Hungary, blames migration
- Chair of Czech right-wing extremist party exultant over appointment of new ombudsman
- Czech bookstore fires clerk for racially insulting Romani colleague on social media
- Germany: Head of the state of Thuringia resigns within 24 hours after extremist party plays kingmaker role
- PHOTO ESSAY Yet another protest against fascist party in Slovakia, Roma turned out as well