Heinz-Christian Strache wants to build links with Tea Party

The head of Austria’s far right Freedom Party says he wants to meet with representatives of the ultraconservative U.S. tea party movement.

Heinz-Christian Strache described the movement as “highly interesting” and claims his party has received and will accept invitations from the United States.

Strache made the comments in an interview with Austria’s Die Presse newspaper published Sunday. Spokesman Karl Heinz Gruensteidl confirmed the remarks but declined to provide more details.

The anti-immigration Freedom Party is the third largest political force in Austria’s parliament and recently saw a surge in support in local elections in Vienna, the country’s capital, following a campaign laced with anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Associated Press, 12 December 2010