‘Wake-Up Call for Progressives’ as Far Right Surges in Austrian Elections

by Andrea Germanos – Far-right party head feels “vindicated by the fact that way more than 55 percent” of voters chose its platform. Preliminary results from Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Austria point towards a 31-year-old immigration hardliner becoming the country’s next leader and his conservative party forming a coalition with the neo-Nazi linked Freedom Party. Millennial Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party (OVP)—which he’s moved further to the right—took in 31.6 percent of the vote, while the Social Democrats and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) each received about 26 percent of the vote. Newsweek writes that Kurz “achieved electoral success partly by adopting some of the Freedom Party’s positioning on” immigration. That fact was noted by FPO head Heinz-Christian Strache. “I’m feeling somewhat vindicated by the fact that way more than 55 percent have voted for the Freedom Party’s platform, because big parts of our program were copied by other parties,” he said on a television panel....

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