Left Menu
Development News Edition

Austria's conservatives, Greens agree to form government


Austria's conservatives, Greens agree to form government
Image Credit: President of Russia

Austria's conservatives led by Sebastian Kurz have agreed to form a coalition government with the Greens after a final round of talks capping almost three months of negotiations. It will mark the first time the Green party has been in power after Kurz's alliance with the far-right collapsed in a corruption scandal and triggered elections in September.

Kurz's People's Party (OeVP) and the Greens made gains in the election, bringing them together in unlikely negotiations given the 33-year-old's carefully groomed image as a hardliner on immigration. "The OeVP and Greens have agreed on a government program together," a Greens representative with knowledge of the negotiations, who declined to be named, told AFP on Wednesday.

An OeVP official confirmed the same to AFP. The two parties' leaders are to make a statement. Despite progress to bridge the significant gaps, observers said the new government would face challenges after Kurz's previous rule with the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) saw a raft of anti-immigration measures passed, sharply dividing Austrians.

"2020 as a political year of change" ran the main online headline of the Kurier daily earlier Wednesday. Both the OeVP and the Greens will be hard-pressed to show they have not compromised too much on their key principals and campaign promises when they present the joint government program, which is expected Thursday.

"From his (Kurz's) perspective, it's a huge stretch and it's also a danger that over time he might lose some of the voters he gained from the Freedom Party," analyst Thomas Hofer told AFP. In the September polls, the OeVP managed to pick up disenchanted FPOe voters, getting 37.5 percent in total.

The Greens secured 13.9 per cent of the vote, their best-ever result, due to the environment replacing immigration as top concern in the country of 8.8 million people. Hofer said other European countries, such as Germany, could also see Conservative-Green party coalitions in the future. Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Luxemburg already have Greens in government.

"Kurz is setting a certain trend maybe ahead of time, and this is certainly something also on the international stage that he would be able to sell," he said. Hofer described Greens chief Werner Kogler, who is expected to be vice-chancellor, as a "pragmatist" who had stabilized the party.

The 58-year-old took on the leadership after the party lost all their parliamentary seats in a shock defeat in 2017, largely due to infighting and splits. A congress of the party's almost 280 delegates must still endorse the coalition agreement, but they are expected to do so.

"It's a historical chance for them," Hofer said. As junior coalition partner, the Greens would get four ministries, including an enlarged environment ministry that also comprises infrastructure, traffic, energy and technology, according to a party representative familiar with the negotiations.

The OeVP will maintain control of the rest, including the coveted interior ministry -- previously headed by a far-right official and embroiled in scandal -- and the finance portfolio. Greens official Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic told the Standard daily in an interview that compromises are "part of democracy", and that the coalition partners would address challenges rather than "feign harmony and sweep difficult topics under the carpet".

The far-right FPOe -- previously riding a wave of populist sentiment seen across Europe -- was routed in the polls after the so-called "Ibiza-gate" graft scandal brought down their then-leader and vice-chancellor in May and caused the government to collapse.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

AAP suspends councillor Tahir Hussain from primary membership of party

The AAP has suspended its councillor Tahir Hussain, who is accused of being involved in the killing of an IB staffer, from the primary membership of the party till the police probe is complete, party sources said The family of an Intelligen...

UP Assembly revokes membership of Azam Khan's son Abdullah

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday revoked the state Assembly membership of the Samajwadi Party SP leader Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan, son of Mohammad Azam Khan. A release from Assembly secretariat cited Allahabad High Courts order to a...

With West divided, Huawei plans first European 5G factory in France

Huawei will build its first European manufacturing plant in France, the chairman said on Thursday, as the Chinese telecom giant seeks to ease worldwide concerns stoked by U.S. charges that Beijing could use its equipment for spying.Liang Hu...

One killed, four injured in landslide in Nepal

One person was killed and four others injured during a landslide in western Nepal on Thursday, police said The incident happened in Dadeldhura district when rocks with heaps of soil came rolling down from a mountain and hit a group of worke...

Give Feedback