Austrian Populism Gaining Political Power

Outrage over immigration and the E.U. is driving voters to choose a party known for Austrian populism.

The same forces at work in Germany against Angela Merkel are also driving the rise of Austrian populism. Is this happening because Austrians are becoming Nazis, or because natives are hurt by bad immigration policy and being governed by the E.U. instead of by the government they elect?

The Times of Israel reports, “Move over AfD, here comes Austria’s far-right.

Alternative for Germany became the third-biggest party in the Bundestag last month but its far-right Austrian ally, the Freedom Party, has a shot at sharing power after elections on Sunday.

The FPOe, one of Europe’s most established nationalist parties, is forecast to come second or third and could become junior coalition partners to Sebastian Kurz’s conservatives.

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Founded in 1956, the FPOe emerged from the short-lived Federation of Independents, launched after World War II by former Nazis who had been stripped of their voting rights.

The party, whose first chief was an ex-officer from the Waffen SS, also drew pan-Germanists — believers in unifying with Germany like in the Third Reich — and liberals fed up with the ruling centrist establishment.

Over the decades, the FPOe increasingly encroached on two main parties, the Social Democrats (SPOe) and conservative People’s Party (OeVP), which have dominated post-war Austrian politics.

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