For Immediate Release
July 9, 2014
Adriatic Institute Raises Concerns Regarding Upcoming Freedom Fest Conference, F. A. Hayek Institute Ties to Anti-Semitic Groups and Criminal Enterprises
Austrian-based F. A. Hayek Institute's anti-Semitic ties and cross-directorships to criminal enterprises and organized crime pose a direct economic, financial and security threat to Americans and Europeans
Rijeka, Croatia / Washington, DC - The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy has raised concerns about the July 2014 Freedom Fest conference and some of its speakers who are affiliated with entities connected to anti-Semitic groups in Austria, and two think tanks with cross-directorships to criminal enterprises and organized crime. The libertarian event scheduled for July 9-12, 2014, in Las Vegas will feature representatives from European and US think tanks and academics affiliated with the groups in question.
Close connections between Barbara Kolm, the president of the Hayek Institute and the director of the Austrian Economics Center, affiliated with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) and Nazi sympathizers, present concerns for individuals and families that are deeply affected by the Holocaust, including the Jewish community at large and the engaged citizens in America who support Israel’s sovereignty and the Jewish community’s safety in Europe.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2010, Ariel Muzicant, then-president of the Viennese Jewish community wrote:
"FPO was founded by surviving Austrian Nazis; had representatives over the decades who had praised the Nazis, made anti-Semitic remarks and engaged in Holocaust denial; and organized meetings of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi European parties in Austria. For decades the small Jewish Community of Austria has successfully fought against any kind of anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism, and the FPO was and is one of our worst adversaries.”
At a high-level US Senate briefing event on June 4, 2014, at the Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, senior leadership of the Adriatic Institute for Public Policy, an independent think tank based in Croatia, raised concerns about F. A. Hayek and Austrian Center of Economics’ cross-directorships with criminal enterprises, connections with corrupt Balkan and Eastern European politicians and Austria’s anti-Semitic political party FPO, and its efforts to influence the US public policy.
“Aiding and propping up groups and individuals who are supporting corrupt politicians and schemes facilitating money laundering for organized crime, mafia states, the cocaine ring, heroin smuggling and human trafficking through the Balkan Route, is unacceptable and goes against the rule of law,” said Natasha Srdoc, Chairman, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy.
“American conservatives and libertarians organizing and sponsoring this event must not give lip service to a rhetoric of reforms. If they are concerned about the West’s economic and security issues, leaders and elected representatives must take into account their actions which directly impact the Balkan region’s 54 million and America’s 300 million citizens,” Srdoc warned.
Furthermore, in their message on Capitol Hill in June 2014, the leadership of Adriatic Institute stated that corrupt think tanks and naive academics in the West connected to the Hayek Institute’s network have sent a troubling message to the citizens of Central and Eastern Europe who are aware of Hayek Institute’s criminal partners. Among them, are the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank’s bribery cases implicating corrupt Balkan politicians with $11 billion in unaccounted loans for the region; and, the gaming company Novomatic’s shady practices being red flagged by the US State Department and reported by whistleblowers for bribery and money laundering in lax law nations.
“Though one might ask what has anti-Semitism in common with the existent corruption in Central and Eastern Europe, and further with security threats to US and EU citizens, the answer is straight forward – a lot,” said Natasha Srdoc. “Elitist-thinking entities like FPO and Austria’s state-funded F. A. Hayek Institute, concerned with self-preservation, cease opportunistic advantage of weak rule-of-law states’ politicians who are motivated only by personal wealth-gain and power, in pursuit of which they form shady business and other alliances with compromised groups of questionable ethics.”
The perilous Balkan Route’s network of corrupt politicians and organized crime bring into Europe over $20 billion per year in heroin originating from Afghanistan; the same groups are involved in weapons, human and organ trafficking. Reports reveal that proceeds from heroin trafficking finance terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.
“To the peril of their own citizens, self-serving politicians go as far as to compromise national security of their own citizens in Eastern and Central Europe, and by extension, the security of the citizens of EU and US,” stated Natasha Srdoc. “Unholy alliances between individuals or enterprises of pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic tendencies through business or any type of ventures are in the long run, or even in the short run, bound for destruction. If recent history in Europe has had anything to teach us.”
According to cable from the US Embassy in Vienna (2009): “Summary: Chancellor Faymann on May 18 denounced Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the rightwing, xenophobic Freedom Party (FPO) as a "hatemonger" and said the FPO was trying to stir up anti-Semitism with a campaign ad promising to veto EU membership for Israel (and Turkey). Leaders from other political parties, as well as the Jewish and Muslim communities, have also harshly criticized the FPO.” (http://cables.mrkva.eu/cable.php?id=207855)
Notes to Editors:
Materials addressing propping up of corrupt governments, money laundering for organized crime and mafia states in the Balkan region:
a) The Huffington Post, June 2014:
“F.A. Hayek Institute in Vienna and the cross-directorships of its board, which includes Prince Michael von Liechtenstein, the CEO of LGT Austria, and the CEO of the world’s largest gaming company Novomatic. This institute organizes events in Eastern Europe calling for lax laws and policies in countries with colossal corruption that do not have the rule of law and protection of property rights.”
b) New York Times: Europe Needs Help Combating the Mafia, April 2014:
“Organized crime is a huge problem in Europe. It is facilitated through money laundering among financial and corporate entities in countries such as Liechtenstein and Austria, and even in U.S. states like Delaware and Wyoming. It exists because of weak laws and lack of government oversight and judicial willpower. And it has implications for efforts to combat terrorism. For instance, opium from Afghanistan is carried through the Balkans into Europe. Reports indicate that Balkan heroin trafficking brings in more than $20 billion annually, providing financing for Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.”
c) US Senate Briefing through the leadership of legislators, June 4, 2014:
d) Event at the Heritage Foundation, December 13, 2013:
The Unfinished Work of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Advancing the Rule of Law
e) Open Letter to Prince Michael von Liechtenstein:
f) Is This Mafia State Joining NATO?
g) Exposing Richard Rahn’s Fallacies:
h) The Huffington Post, June 2014:
“The American DEA assisted in breaking up a cocaine ring, led by recently arrested Darko Saric, which brought cocaine from Latin America via a Montenegrin port into Europe. Based on a report published by a Canadian government portal which is reporting on money laundering, “Serbian authorities claim that Saric used offshore companies to ‘invest’ 100 million euros in HGAA’s bank accounts, which are primarily in Liechtenstein … laundered that amount through the bank between 2007 and 2009” These years coincide with Prince Michael von Liechtenstein having control of the HGAA branch in Liechtenstein. Furthermore, based on research published by the BBC, Prva Banka (First Bank), which is controlled by Prime Minister Djukanovic’s family, provided loans to Saric.”
II) Materials addressing Austria FPO’s (Freedom Party) pro-nazi and anti-semitic stance:
a) Cable from the US Embassy in Vienna (2009):
“Summary: Chancellor Faymann on May 18 denounced Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the rightwing, xenophobic Freedom Party (FPO) as a "hatemonger" and said the FPO was trying to stir up anti-Semitism with a campaign ad promising to veto EU membership for Israel (and Turkey). Leaders from other political parties, as well as the Jewish and Muslim communities, have also harshly criticized the FPO.” (http://cables.mrkva.eu/cable.php?id=207855)
b) Die Presse, March 31, 2012: "FPÖ and Hayek Institute: Alliance with contradictions"
What connects the secretary general of the liberal Hayek Institute, Barbara Kolm, with Heinz-Christian Strache's FPÖ?
FPÖ und Hayek-Institut: Allianz mit Widersprüchen
Was verbindet die Generalsekretärin des liberalen Hayek-Instituts, Barbara Kolm, mit Heinz-Christian Straches FPÖ?
c) "FPO was founded by surviving Austrian Nazis; had representatives over the decades who had praised the Nazis, made anti- Semitic remarks and engaged in Holocaust denial; and organized meetings of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi European parties in Austria. For decades the small Jewish Community of Austria has successfully fought against any kind of anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism, and the FPO [Freedom Party] was and is one of our worst adversaries,” - Ariel Muzicant, President of the Viennese Jewish community (2010), Letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
d) Dr. Barbara Kolm-Lamprechter - Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPO member)
Hayek Institute’s board members:
Austrian Economics Center board (please copy the Internet link into your browser):
US: +1 202 738 1496