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The Trump Effect Continues To Sweep Europe. Nationalists Win in Austria!

Posted: October 16, 2017 at 7:31 am   /   by

The Trump effect continues to sweep Europe, as Sebastian Kurz won the chancellorship in Austria’s elections after running on a nationalist platform.

Kurz’s Party, The People’s Party (OVP), received 30.2 per cent of the vote, according to exit polls from Austrian news channel ORF, and he is expected to form a coalition with the even more radical, populist Freedom party (FPO), who came in second receiving 26.8 per cent of the vote, according to the latest projections. At just 31 years of age, Kurz will become the world’s youngest government leader.

Kurz’s party platform included a hardline stance on immigration, a promise for tax cuts, and a declared opposition to the European Union and declaration of national sovereignty. He has promised to cut access to social welfare benefits for refugees for at least five years.

The swell of anxiety over immigration to Austria began building 2015, when almost 70,000 mostly-Muslim refugees sought asylum from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Schools and hospitals in the nation of 8.7 million struggled to accommodate the newcomers, and disagreements over whether it was fair to give immigrants generous welfare support dominate the media, with Austria also serving as a gateway for nearly 900,000 migrants making their way to Germany.

While serving as Austria’s Foreign Minister, Kurz has already rejected EU reform proposals by France’s Emmanuel Macron, and his victory is seen as a crushing blow for the European Union. He was also one of the backers of the recent law imposed in Austria banning the burka and was  instrumental in closing down the Balkan route into Europe used by Middle Eastern refugees.

As the results were still being tallied, Kurz told his cheering supporters:

Today we have won a huge mandate to change this country, and I promise you I will work with all my energy for change.

We want to establish a new culture in politics. And we want to change the country for the better.

Going on to say,

This is a strong mandate for us to bring about change in this country. It’s about establishing a new political style, a new culture.

Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party, the largest party in the last government, fell all the way to third place garnering just 26.3 per cent.

The OVP will be the biggest party in the new parliament, increasing their seats by 10 to 57 total. The FPO, whom they are expected to make a government with, increased their seat total by 11, to 51 seats, meanwhile the former Party of note, the SPO, lost three seats, falling to 49 total.

With the Freedom Party poised to return to government for the first time since 2005, as an ally of Kurz’s OVP, congratulations poured in from European nationalists including France’s Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

Although the OVP has been in government for 30 year and Mr Kurz is one of the cabinet’s longest serving ministers, he has run his campaign with a promise of change. As a member of the EU, Austria could now go on to resist efforts by Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, and France’s Macron to reform the bloc and expand cooperation on issues such as immigration.

As Bloomberg reported:
“There won’t be a debate to leave the EU, but the Freedom Party is strong enough to demand significant concessions” and may lead Austria to align more often with eastern European countries that have challenged Merkel on issues including migration, said Thomas Hofer, a political consultant in Vienna. “Austria has mostly been an ally of Germany for decades, but that picture could change more often now,” Hofer said.
Sunday’s results tracked with what happened in Germany’s elections just a month ago when Germany’s uber nationalist party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), went from no representation at all, to winning nearly 13 percent of the German vote, while Merkel’s party lost seats. The nationalist, Trump wave continues across the world unimpeded.
 

 

Joseph Morgan
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Joseph Morgan

Team Writer at Western Free Press
Joseph was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. He received a Master's in U.S. history, with an emphasis on American constitutionalism from the UA, with a minor in Aerospace Mechanical Engineering. He took a job right out of college as a financial advisor, then switched career paths to teaching History at Pima Community College, while tutoring mathematics on the side. He also writes op-eds for the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson's largest newspaper, and has recently begun a new, live, calling radio show Common Sense heard every Saturday at 1 p.m. on 1030 AM KVOI, The Voice. He has a passion for politics and debate, believing that, we the people, must converse with each other about ideas and become engaged in the political formative process, as opposed to simply reacting to what government does. His ideological emphasis, in which he believes everyone can find common ground, is natural rights philosophy.
Joseph Morgan
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The Trump Effect Continues To Sweep Europe. Nationalists Win in Austria!