06:35 GMT13 August 2020
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    Thousands of protesters rallied against a right-wing ball in Vienna which has attracted controversy in recent years, leading to dozens of arrests.

    MOSCOW, January 31 (Sputnik) — Thousands marched in protest of a far-right ball in Austria's Vienna on Friday night, leading to dozens of arrests after scuffles with police, German news agency DPA reported.

    "This is not a harmless dance event, but a meeting where Europe’s extreme right comes to network," Kaethe Lichtner, one of the event's organizers told DPA.

    Around 5,000 marched against the ball, according to Reuters, many of them coming from abroad. Protesters held signs saying "Nazis out" as they marched against the so-called Academics' Ball organized by the far-right Freedom Party, according to the agency.

    The demonstration was relatively peaceful compared to those of previous years, according to DPA.

    The ball has been a subject to controversy internationally, according to AP, as UNESCO, the UN's cultural organization, removed Vienna balls from it list of Austrian traditions because of the far-right ball.

    The Freedom Party, a right-wing party with eurosceptic views and an anti-immigration stance, currently leads in opinion polls, ahead of the Social Democratic Party and the center-right People's Party, according to DPA.


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