The Spectacular Fall of a Political Experiment in Austria Sebastian Kurz’s Failure to Tame the Radical Right

The Spectacular Fall of a Political Experiment in Austria Sebastian Kurz’s Failure to Tame the Radical Right
2019-07-24 KKI
Analysis by Tamás Levente Molnár

As a result of “Ibizagate” Sebastian Kurz’s turquoise-blue government resigned, and the chancellor himself was forced out of office by the Austrian parliament in a vote of no confidence. Prior to the parliamentary elections in 2017, the similarities between the respective positions of the ÖVP and the FPÖ, resulting from Kurz’s conscious accommodative strategy towards the right, opened up the possibility of cooperation between the two parties. At the same time, the actions of Kurz came with the risk of legitimizing many of the FPÖ’s right-wing policies, a danger he did not shy away from. At the beginning of his one-and-a-half-year-long governing period, Kurz tried to establish a “new style” of governing, but later events foiled his efforts. Nevertheless, the ÖVP chairman can calmly expect the upcoming early elections, and will most likely be able to choose from several potential partners afterwards.

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