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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WORLD BEAT: Porn Stars Snub Vienna Opera Ball




VIENNA -- Porn stars joined politicians in giving the cold shoulder to Austria's government Wednesday as a clutch of erotic film actresses said they would spurn Vienna's famed opera ball.


"Now even politics is getting into the porn business," lamented Thomas Janisch, publisher of an Austrian sex magazine that invited the nine women to the ball. "They're boycotting the government and don't want to come."


The actresses said they would not attend the prestigious event Thursday in protest of the rise of J?rg Haider's far-right party to national power.


Guest of honor Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, whose country holds the European Union presidency, had earlier called off his night at the opera because of the Freedom Party's presence in Austria's government.


This year's event coincides with a regular weekly demonstration against the coalition government of Chancellor Wolfgang Sch?ssel's conservatives and the Freedom Party, which saw Haider resign as leader this week.


Police said they expected 25,000 demonstrators to attend a protest rally in central Vienna. Security for the ball will be tighter than usual.


Despite the absence of luminaries from the entertainment and political world, organizers have had no trouble selling the high-priced tickets to Vienna's social event of the year.


"Of course we're sold out," an organizer said. Even boxes costing up to 200,000 schillings ($14,040) each have gone.


Tycoon Richard Lugner, who has spiced the event with past escorts such as Faye Dunaway and Ivana Trump, has had difficulty this year.


Film diva Claudia Cardinale said no and British actress Jacqueline Bisset turned him down at the last moment. The Viennese building magnate will instead take Nadja "Naddel" Abdel Farrag, host of "Peep!," a late-night German television show that features voyeuristic sex.


Naddel is not unaccustomed to bad publicity. Last year she made a tearful apology to an irate German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der for satirizing him as a leather-clad hermaphrodite with a fondness for kinky sex.


The only foreign head of state expected to attend is Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev.