16:59 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Presidential candidate Norbert Hofer (R) and head of the Austrian Freedom party Heinz-Christian Strache (L) react at the party headquarter in Vienna, Austria, April 24, 2016.

    Déjà Vu? Austrian Sues German TV Channel Over 'Nazi-Schnitzel Satire'

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    German TV channel ZDF commented the electoral success of the right-wing Austrian FPÖ party posting on its Facebook page a picture of a schnitzel in the shape of a swastika. One Austrian resident didn't find the joke very funny and has filed a lawsuit against the media source, German media reported.

    The 45-year-old Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer came out on top in the first round of Sunday's presidential election, gaining 35.3 percent of the votes.

    The ZDF crew was so surprised by the outcome of the elections that they decided to make fun of the issue and posted on its Facebook a picture of a famous Austrian schnitzel, which was in the shape of a Nazi swastika.

    "What's wrong with you, dear neighbors? Austrians vote in the same their schnitzel is made: flat and nicely browned," the inscription said.

    By Thursday afternoon the post had more than 30,000 likes.

    Although the joke might seem a bit too much, it surely was not expected to cause such a harsh reaction. After the post appeared on the social network, a Tyrolean law student and former FPÖ member filed a lawsuit against the TV channel under paragraph 103 of the German Criminal Code "insulting governmental institutions or representatives of another state".

    The same paragraph has recently been used by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to sue German satirist Jan Böhmermann for performing an offensive poem in a ZDF TV show.

    Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the problematic paragraph 103 was to be abolished, but the initiative is expected to come into force only in 2018.

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    joke, satire, TV channel, ZDF, Norbert Hofer, Austria
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