The leader of Austria's populist Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, has defended his invitation to the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak in Vienna, saying that he is an "interesting European politician".

The FPÖ plans to hold a joint event with Wilders on "the threat to Europe through Islamisation" at Vienna's Hofburg Palace on March 27th. Strache said it was an important topic that needed to be discussed and had nothing to do with Islamophobia but was about promoting western, democratic values.

Wilders, who leads the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), has often expressed his distaste for Islam and mass immigration. He is due to be prosecuted in his own country after leading an anti-Moroccan chant during election campaigning last year in The Hague.

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