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Friday, 4 February, 2000, 14:59 GMT
Coalition pledge over nazi past

signing President Klestil and Schuessel sign new manifesto

The leaders of the centre-right Austrian People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party have both signed a manifesto declaring a commitment to human rights and democratic principles.

Wolfgang Schuessel and Joerg Haider very publicly put their signatures to the Manifesto, called Declaration: Responsibility for Austria - A future in the heart of Europe.

The following are excerpts from the text of the document:

The federal government affirms its unshakeable commitment to the spiritual and moral values which are the shared heritage of the peoples of Europe and which underlie the personal freedom, political freedom and the rule of law upon which all true democracy is based.

Manifesto pledges
Committment to spiritual and moral values
Advocates respect, tolerance and understanding
Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and racism have no place
To protect and promote human rights
The federal government advocates respect, tolerance and understanding for all, irrespective of their origin, religion or world view.

The government will work for an Austria in which xenophobia, anti-Semitism and racism have no place.

It espouses its own particular responsibility for respectful dealings with ethnic and religious minorities.

Human rights

The federal government espouses the protection and promotion of human rights and advocates their unconditional implementation both at a national and international level.

This is also an important contribution to helping prevent wars and internal conflicts, the violation of people's rights and to stop them being persecuted or driven from their homes.

The co-operation of the coalition parties rests on a commitment to Austria's membership of the European Union.

The federal government is committed to the principles shared by all the members states of the European Union.

The principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and basic freedoms, as well as the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 6 of the European Union Treaty.

Austria's history and geopolitical position give it a special obligation to drive forward the process of integration and to anchor the European idea even more strongly in the everyday life of the people.

In order to ensure peace and stability in the 21st century, particular weight will be given to the transatlantic partnership.

police Police keep back protesters outside parliament building
Austria embraces its responsibility arising from the disastrous history of the 20th Century and the monstrous crimes of the National Socialist regime.

Our country shoulders as its responsibility the light and dark aspects of its past and the deeds of all Austrians, good and evil. Nationalism, dictatorship and intolerance brought war, xenophobia, lack of freedom, racism and mass murder.

The uniqueness and incomparability of the crime of the Holocaust are a warning to be eternally vigilant concerning all forms of dictatorship and totalitarianism.

The federal government states its commitment to a critical analysis of the Nazi past.

It will ensure there is full investigation, revelation of the structures of injustice and that this knowledge will be transmitted to succeeding generations as a warning for the future. Austria will make its contribution as a stable, reliable partner country to creating a peaceful and secure co-operation in Europe and the world.

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
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