The 2008 UEFA Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro-2008, a sports event, has found itself involved in dirty politics. Austria’s notorious politician, Joerg Haider, set out his indignation about the participation of Russia and Turkey at the European Championship. He was particularly concerned about Turkey’s success. Haider’s open self-promotion at Euro-2008 uncovered a very serious political problem for the European Union – future relations with Turkey and a huge Turkish community in the EU countries. Euro-2008 continues for three weeks already. Fortunately, football has not been dragged through the mud of politics. However, hardly had Russian and Turkish national teams made their way to the semi-finals, when one of Europe’s most scandalous politicians, Joerg Haider, released a political statement on the matter. He was particularly angered with the success of Turkish footballers at the Championship. Mr. Haider said he did not understand why Euro-2008 semi-finalists Turkey and Russia had been allowed to play in the tournament. I wonder what these two nations have to do with Europe, Haider, the governor of the Austrian state of Carithia was quoted as saying in an interview with Die Presse newspaper. Haider is known for his comments on Nazi concentration camps, which he described as labor and punishment camps. When his party became a part of the ruling coalition in 2000, 14 EU countries considerably diminished their cooperation with Austria and introduced sanctions against the country. Haider was strongly against the expansion of the European Union, as well as against Austria’s incorporation in it. The politician believes that it would be better to unite Austria with Germany – a remark, which made many draw a parallel between Joerg Haider and Adolf Hitler, since Hitler was the last person in the world to touch upon such an idea.

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