Austrian Haider's daughter to run in EU election

VIENNA - The daughter of late Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider announced Wednesday she plans to run in May's European parliamentary elections, giving her father's underachieving party a much-needed boost.

"I'm a fervent European," Ulrike Haider-Quercia told a press conference in Vienna to present the leading candidate for the Alliance for Austria's Future (BZOe).

The EU system however needed reforming, the 37-year-old lawyer and political expert added, going as far as to argue that the euro currency "was no longer salvageable" and that alternatives should be discussed.

Her father Joerg Haider, who died in a drink-driving accident in October 2008, was long Austria's most notorious politician abroad, famously praising Hitler's "orderly" employment policies.

His Freedom Party's entry into government in 2000 even prompted unprecedented European sanctions against Austria, before Haider split from the party to found the BZOe.

The latter won an impressive 10.9 per cent in general elections in 2008, thanks to its charismatic and media-savvy leader.

But since his death, the scandal-plagued BZOe has dropped in the rankings and in September, the party - which had a stint in government in 2005-2008 - was ousted from parliament, having failed to secure the necessary four per cent in general elections.

For Haider-Quercia, her candidacy was an attempt to defend her father's name, following a string of scandals related to dodgy dealings under his governorship of Carinthia province.

The novice's entry into politics was an opportunity "to rectify certain things," she said.

Her candidacy will be officially confirmed at a party meeting on March 15.