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Austria

Yearbook 2018

Austria. According to Countryaah.com, Austria took over the club of presidents in the EU Council of Ministers on 1 July. According to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the focus was on illegal immigration, under the slogan "Security and the fight against illegal immigration". In June, he had said he wanted to form an "anti-migration axis" with Germany and Italy in order to secure Europe's external borders.

In early January, 20,000 people, including posters with the text "Don't let the Nazis rule", demonstrated in the capital Vienna against the new Austrian government coalition. After the 2017 election, the country is led by Chancellor Kurz and the Conservative People's Party (ÖVP), which entered into a coalition with the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPÖ).

In June, the government announced that seven mosques in the country would be closed and that several imams would be expelled because foreign powers, including Turkey, were reported to be financing the business and that they had links to radical Islamism. In a statement, Chancellor Kurz said that "parallel societies, political Islam and radicalization have no place in our society". In 2015, when Kurz was Minister of Integration, came a law that just banned foreign funding of religious groups.

In September, former Chancellor Christian Kern announced that he would step down as party leader for the opposition Social Democrats (SPÖ). Former Health Minister Pamela Rendi-Wagner was appointed new party leader. She is SPÖ's first female leader.

2018 Austria

The October 1999 parliamentary elections confirmed the steady decline of the SPÖ. Probably the party remained the country's largest, but got 33.4% its worst choice ever. Haiders FPÖ, on the other hand, regained government power in the Canton of Kernten, becoming 27.2% the country's second largest party. It got 400 more votes than the conservative ÖVP. The Greens rose from 9 to 13 MPs, but with 7% of the vote, it was still not enough to enter into an alliance with the Social Democrats.

Climate's efforts to form a government suffered defeat, and the country's president instead accepted the formation of a coalition government between the conservative ÖVP and Haider's FPÖ. Before then, the Commission had in the EUHowever, the country announced that Haider's entry into the Austrian government would mean a cooling-off of EU-Austria relations. Despite the fact that Haider himself refrained from personally joining the government, the other 14 EU countries decided to cut diplomatic contacts and cease to support Austria's candidates in the EU and other international organizations. At the same time, Israel and other countries withdrew their ambassadors from Vienna, which helped to increase the international isolation of the conservative Wolfgang Schüssel government. Internally in Austria, too, there were violent demonstrations against the right-wing coalition government. Nevertheless, international isolation seemed to strengthen the Austrian unity around the government. Haider himself found that Denmarkrefugee and immigration policy is significantly more restrictive than the Austrian one. (See Immigrants).

In a joint communication, the 14 EU countries announced in September 2000 that the policy towards Austria had yielded "fruitful" results and that the political blockade could now be "lifted". At the same time, however, the community ruled that it would still be necessary to "monitor" FPÖ. In November, accusations were made against the FPÖ for corruption, and it suffered a number of defeats in the local elections. Within 9 months, 3 of its ministers were forced to resign, creating tensions within the coalition government.

Prime Minister Schüssel defended his desire for Austria's accession to NATO. Still, he feared a strong reaction from the population, which for 50 years had become accustomed to Austria's political neutrality. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited the country in February 2001, also called on Austria to maintain its neutrality - for its own sake and for Europe. Even before that, the Russian ambassador to Vienna had declared that if Austria broke its neutrality, Russia would see it as a violation of international law.

Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman characterized Jörg Haider as a charlatan and a populist pro-fascist because he had countered the Czech Republic's accession to the EU, citing the safety of the Czech nuclear power station Temelin, 60 km from the Austrian border. In January 2002, Schüssel called Czech President Vaclav Havel to complain about Zeman's statements. These exchanges brought the relationship between the two countries to the worst point since the end of the Cold War, and at the same time threatened the fragile government coalition.

 

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