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EU: Three 'Wise Men' to Visit Austria

Helsinki, 24 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The three European Union representatives appointed to investigate Austrian politics, will visit the country on Friday and Saturday. Former Finnish president Martii Ahtisaari made the announcement today in Helsinki. He is one of the EU's so-called "Wise Men" who are assessing the Austrian political and human rights situation to pave the way for a possible lifting of EU sanctions.

Ahtisaari's office said the three will have meetings with Austrian President Thomas Klestil, leaders of political parties and others in Vienna.

Austria has been politically isolated by its 14 EU partners since the far-right Freedom Party entered a conservative government coalition in February.

Earlier today, the man at the center of the controversy, former Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider, invited the three "Wise Men" to visit the Austrian province of Carinthia, where he is governor.