Skiurlaub- günstig mit FeWo-direkt
Hotelsuche in 
 

All eyes on Austria on Sunday

Austria
29.11.2016
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Is Austria next in line after Brexit and Trump?
Voters in Austria have a choice between a far-right and a Green president. No matter who wins, populism is gaining ground in the country.
GALLERY
Vienna (dpa) - Europe will look to Austria on Sunday to see if the small but wealthy country will elect Western Europe‘s first far-right president, giving a fresh boost to populists in the wake of Britain‘s Brexit vote and Donald Trump‘s win in the United States.

But even if rightist Norbert Hofer loses and his left-leaning Green rival Alexander Van der Bellen wins the hotly contested presidential race, populism would only suffer a temporary setback rather than a defeat.

This is because Hofer‘s Freedom Party is poised to win the next parliamentary election, and its anti-immigration views have been adopted by mainstream parties.

Sunday will provide 45-year-old Hofer a second chance to win Austria‘s top job.

In May, 72-year-old Van der Bellen looked certain to become Austria‘s president when he won the run-off election against Hofer by a narrow margin of 0.6 per cent.

However, the opposition Freedom Party successfully challenged the vote in the Constitutional Court by bringing evidence that ballots were counted without proper oversight in many towns.

The court ordered a repeat election, which was planned to go ahead in October but had to be pushed back to December after the envelopes for postal votes were found to be manufactured with substandard glue.

Hofer, one of the deputy presidents of Austria‘s parliament, has won support from half of the voters by criticizing the government for allowing 90,000 migrants to enter the country last year.

The former aviation engineer has also chided German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her welcoming stance in the face of the wave of migrant arrivals.

"By announcing ‘We can do it,‘ she [Merkel] encouraged many people to undertake very, very dangerous journeys across the sea," he said in a recent television debate. Austrian taxpayers were footing Germany‘s bill as many of these migrants ended up in Austria and needed to be housed and fed here, he said.

Following Britain‘s referendum decision to leave the European Union, Freedom Party leaders welcomed Brexit and said that Austria should hold a similar vote if Turkey were to be admitted into the European Union, or if the bloc proved to be incapable of reforming itself.

However, Austrians have little appetite for exiting the bloc, and the EU-sceptic Freedom Party has since backpedalled.

Hofer told dpa that he sees the EU as "a project that is in urgent need of development." However, he sticks to the view that a referendum remains a measure of last resort.

Former Green party chief Van der Bellen is pro-European. He keeps warning that Hofer‘s recent soft EU stance only masks his wish to destroy the bloc, in line with like-minded populist movements in France and Germany.

On the migration issue, Van der Bellen stands by the many Austrians who have spontaneously formed grassroots projects to help arriving migrants.

"Do we want to see Austria as a friendly, open, bright country?" the economic scholar said in a speech. "Or do we want to see it as a country that is threatened by conspiracies, where fears take over, where everything is terrible?" he said, challenging the Freedom Party‘s world view.

Although polls predict another neck-to-neck result on Sunday, his position is an increasingly lonely one.

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has been successful with his strategy of closing down the Balkan migration route, pushing for restrictive immigration policies and demanding the end of Turkey‘s accession talks with the EU.

Kurz currently tops Austria‘s popularity rating for politicians.

The Social Democrats, who form the government coalition with Kurz‘s centre-right People‘s Party, have gone along with Austria‘s immigration about-turn and have reluctantly supported a cut-off limit for the number of asylum seekers that can enter per year.

An increasingly vocal wing in the Social Democratic party has been mulling cooperation with the Freedom Party after the next parliamentary election, which is due in 2018 at the latest.

The Freedom Party has led the polls for more than a year and currently enjoys the support of 35 per cent of voters, according to the latest survey published by the tabloid Oesterreich in early November. "Nothing and no one will stop us," Hofer said at an election rally.

 

Kommentare zu diesem Artikel
 
Neuer Kommentar
Name *
Email * (wird nicht öffentlich angezeigt)
Kommentar
* Pflichtangaben
 
Diesen Artikel empfehlen

Absender Empfänger Nachricht (optional)
Name
E-Mail

Name
E-Mail
   
 
 
Tipps der Redaktion aus dem Nachrichtenportal
 
NACHRICHTEN
Voters in Austria have a choice between a far-right and a Green president. No matter who wins, populism is gaining ground in the country. Vienna (dpa) - Europe will look to Austria on Sunday to see if the small but wealthy country will elect Western
Austria's far-right presidential candidate talks to dpa about his admiration for Margaret Thatcher and offers his take on the US election outcome. Vienna (dpa) - Austria will vote for a new president on Sunday after a year-long campaign beset by
The future of the European Union and Austria's image abroad were high on the minds of Austrian voters, who opted for Green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen as president, and against rightist Norbert Hofer. Vienna (dpa) - Here are the results of a
 
Tipps der Redaktion aus dem Reiseportal
 
REISEPORTAL
Situated on the borders of the French and Swiss Alps, surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe - Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn and the Gran Paradiso - Valle d'Aosta is the smallest Italian region, but also a real paradise for winter
The region Friuli Venezia Giulia is close to Austria in the North, Slovenia in the East and Croatia in the South. In the past Romans, Longobards and the Habsburg dynasty dominated the area. Due to this, incredible artistic and cultural richness can
It is not a bad thing for us, that the route known as the Goldene Strae or the Golden Road as we will get to know it- has escaped the attention of so many. It has been spared being overrun by hordes of tourists and as you will discover the
It is not a bad thing for us, that the route known as the Goldene Strae or the Golden Road as we will get to know it- has escaped the attention of so many. It has been spared being overrun by hordes of tourists and as you will discover the
It is not a bad thing for us, that the route known as the Goldene Strae or the Golden Road as we will get to know it- has escaped the attention of so many. It has been spared being overrun by hordes of tourists and as you will discover the
It is not a bad thing for us, that the route known as the Goldene Strae or the Golden Road as we will get to know it- has escaped the attention of so many. It has been spared being overrun by hordes of tourists and as you will discover the
Wetter

Wien


(06.10.2022 22:30)

-4 / -1 °C


07.10.2022
-5 / -1 °C
08.10.2022
-5 / -2 °C
powered by wetter.com
Stock News

© europe online publishing house GmbH, Weiden, Germany, info@europeonline-magazine.eu | Impressum