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 (ÍVP),
which entered into a coalition with the right-wing populist
Freedom Party (FPÍ).
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 (SPÍ). Former Health Minister Pamela
Rendi-Wagner was appointed new party leader. She is SPÍ's
first female leader.