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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Austria elects the President and the freedom from refugees

Sunday in Austria will elect a new President and although the President was previously rather a symbolic figure, the results of the vote will affect not only domestic, but also on the European situation. The victory of the eurosceptic supporters of limiting migration, the recognition of Russian Crimea, and the cessation of war, sanctions can be an example for other European countries.

Result of the vote, the Austrians are waiting you in Europe – I remember how in 2000, 14 EU countries have already staged the Vienna diplomatic boycott after it was formed the government with the participation of the extreme right.

“Norbert Hofer directly says that he does not want Austria to become a Muslim country”

Now to put pressure on Austria not to work – the freedom Party is perceived by most citizens as the main defender of national interests, and any attempt to “punish” the country will only lead to growth of popularity of APS. This does not mean that on Monday the European press and Atlanticist policy will not begin to sound the alarm. French edition of Le Huffington Post is already catching up with the degree:

This Sunday Europe may Wake up with a hangover head. The leader of the Austrian far-right party Norbert Hofer can become President. His victory, without a doubt, would be a big shock to the entire continent… Because what will happen is that the people elect into power of the far right in the homeland of Adolf Hitler, which he annexed in 1938. The Christian Democrats and the social Democrats consistently have held power in the country since the end of world war II, but none of them could not pass the first round. Although the outcome of the election is not yet known, the country already panicked”.

Panic called the resignation of Chancellor Werner Faymann – shortly after the first round of presidential elections held on 24 April, the leader of the social Democrats resigned from all his posts.

Faymann lost power after the candidates of both parties in the ruling coalition, of the SDHP and the ANP (the populists, the French edition calls the Christian Democrats, by analogy with Germany), failed to reach the second round of presidential elections, losing to the former leader of the “green” van der Bellen and representative of APS Norbert Hofer (the second man in the party headed by Heinz-Christian strache).

Faymann had headed the government for more than seven years, and his positions were strong, but the defeat of the April 24, has led to the fact that the Chancellor was booed at the may day events. In response to criticism he was forced to appoint an extraordinary Congress of the SDHP – seemed to confirm his authority as party leader. But on may 9, even before Congress, Faymann unexpectedly resigned and a few days later it was succeeded by the 50-year-old technocrat and the head of Austrian Railways Christian Kern. And this Tuesday Kern was sworn in as Chancellor.

The new government must demonstrate that traditional ruling elites are willing to change in order to regain the trust of voters – Kern said that he is far from political rituals and will not continue the course Faymann. He even called an outdated prohibition on the entry of his party into a coalition with the fpö at the national level – after all, both the ruling party did everything to block the coming to power of the extreme right (as well as in France, the ruling party unite efforts for opposition “National front” marine Le Pen).

But now that strategy is pointless – Svoboda become the most popular party in the country, and then “clobber” them will not succeed. The social Democrats and the populists, who ruled Austria, 70 years, you need to think about what will happen after the parliamentary elections, which will take two years, and yet to observe the growing influence of the APS.

Confirmation of the popularity of APS will vote on may 22 – judging by the polls, elections are won by 45-year-old Norbert Hofer. Although the same polls on the eve of the first round gave him only a small advantage over the 72-year-old Alexander van der Bellen, in reality, 24 APR Hofer scored 36 percent of the vote, 16 percent ahead of the former leader of the “green” that was originally considered a favorite of the elections.

Now polls give 53 Hofer, and van der Bellen 47 percent – which means that the result of the candidate APS can be even higher. Hofer won outright the debates, in interviews he keeps saying that he does not want Austria to become a Muslim country, and to advocate for the restriction of immigration:

“I want to introduce a sectoral ban on immigration. This means that if a person is able to do something that is needed on the labor market, he can come here. If he has a profession that does not give him any chance, he should not come.”

This is a perfectly reasonable position perceived current Atlanticist European governments as unheard of freethinking – Merkel said that “we must take all”, that is, to accept all the refugees. Austria became the main transit country on the way million refugees in Germany – thus also in the Alpine Republic last year about 100 thousand people have applied for the refugee status (and this is the second figure in the EU, if we consider per capita of the local population).

The Austrians don’t like it, and the government Faymann tried in recent months to take a tougher stance. But to regain the trust of the voters, the ruling parties could not – and vote for the candidate APS they expressed their attitude primarily to the migration policy of their government. Now Hofer promises in case of victory, to use his presidential powers in order to prevent a continuation of the previous course.

He has already stated that it “will not accept the fact that the new Chancellor will further raise the upper limit on refugees”, because “we can’t afford it financially”:

“In addition, we need to ask ourselves the question: can there be more integration? In our country more than 20 schools in which the proportion of children for whom German is not native language, more than 80 per cent”

If the government did decide to increase the quota refugee, then, as said Hofer, this will have consequences in the form of “the resignation of the government”. The President of Austria do have the right to send the government to resign and even to dissolve Parliament – but never in the postwar history nobody used. If Hofer will become President, while the ruling parties are not interested to bring the situation to a conflict with him – because new parliamentary elections are won by the freedom Party (albeit with a relative, not an absolute majority).

So now we can predict that the tightening of Austrian policy towards immigrants will occur in any case for at least part of power by those who yesterday called “far right”, of course, would have a propaganda impact on the situation in other EU countries. Especially related to the Austrians in Germany, where the next year will hold parliamentary elections. So far, the “Alternative for Germany” is partly an analogue of the freedom Party in the polls is in third place with 15 percent.

But what if the Germans in Germany will be inspired by the example of the Germans in Austria? And in France the front national of Le Pen will follow the path of freedom Party, breaking the embargo policy by the ruling parties? Yes, the elections in 2017 in France and Germany will not lead to power alternative elites – but they confirm the growing popularity of the nationalists, eurosceptics and supporters of normal relations with Russia, would visibly show the decline of confidence in the system, traditional political parties have become the puppets of a supranational forces.

By President Hofer, Austria will not act as the legislator of the European fashion – she’s just clearly mark all other already existing pan-European trend.

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