Partners Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, left. and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, right, disagree on the ‘population replacement’ rhetoric [File:Reuters]

The leader of Austria‘s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has reiterated a racially-charged claim that Austrians were at risk of becoming a minority in their own country.

Heinz-Christian Strache, FPO leader and Austrian vice chancellor, told journalists on Wednesday that “population replacement” in Austria was “a reality that cannot be denied”.

He was responding to criticism of remarks in an interview with the Sunday newspaper Kronen Zeitung, in which he said his party was fighting “population replacement”.

The term is associated with a racist conspiracy theory popular in far-right circles, known as the “great replacement”. It argues that the white, European – and Christian – population is

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