A “far-right” party has won more votes, and an “anti-immigrant” candidate in now chancellor, thanks to the Austrian immigration crisis.
In response to the Austrian immigration crises, voters have made Sebastion Kurz the chancellor of the country. Also, the “far-right” Freedom Party is now the third-largest in Parliament. The media claims Nazi and anti-Semitic affinities for the Freedom Party, but the evidence they provide is awfully vague. The real problem for the media seems to be that these politicians, especially if they form a government together, will slow the rate of Muslim immigration. But fewer Muslims will mean less anti-Semitism. So what’s the problem?
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz declared victory on Sunday in the race to become the country’s chancellor, making the 31-year old the world’s youngest head of state.
Kurz, the leader of the center-right People’s Party (OVP) defeated the Social Democratic Party (SPO), which was the largest in the Austrian parliament before Sunday evening. According to the election night’s final projects, SPO, headed by Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, came in second with 26.9 percent of the votes, while the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) received 26 percent of the votes, making it the third-largest party in parliament.
The liberal Neos party and the leftist Liste Pilz group are also set to be represented in parliament, with 5.1 percent and 4.3 percent. The Greens plummeted to 3.9 percent and will likely have to lose their legislative seats.
The projection is based on 100 percent of the regular ballots and includes a forecast of absentee ballots that will be counted by Thursday. The final result may end up 0.7 percentage points higher or lower.
FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache is a controversial figure, with Nazi and anti-Semitic inclinations in his past. He’s been trying to repair that image and get closer to Israel in recent years, using the common enemy of extremist Islam.
If Kurz forms a government and includes Strache in it — a likely scenario — Israel will have to consider its reactions. This won’t be easy. The last time this party joined the coalition, in 2000, Israel recalled its ambassador from Vienna. But last year, Strache visited Israel as a guest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. It included a stop at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial, a mandatory item on the itinerary of every foreign dignitary. The Foreign Ministry recommended that former President Shimon Peres not meet him so as to avoid giving Strache legitimacy.
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