Far right enters government in Austria

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Austria’s new government has pledged support for the EU, but aims to give a hard time to refugees and to be friendlier to Russia.The policy lines emerged on Sunday (17 December) in a coalition deal between the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

The pact is to see the OVP’s 31-year old Sebastian Kurz become Austria’s youngest-ever leader, with the FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache as deputy. But the fact Strache took two minor dossiers (sports and civil service), allowing him to focus on his deputy job, as well as his dominant performance in press briefings, has led Austrian press to dub him “co-chancellor”.

The fact the FPO took control of the country’s security apparatus (the army, police, and intelligence services) by securing the interior, defence, and foreign ministries in the new government also underlined its power. Kurz told press on Sunday he was “looking forward to further cooperation with the German federal government, in particular with German chancellor Angela Merkel, [and] above all, to further deepen our excellent bilateral relations within the European Union”…

Read more : EUObserver, 18.12.2017