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Left-wing takes on Vienna municipal elections

October 13th, 2015

In a comment on Sunday’s Vienna municipal elections, a left-wing columnist finds it reassuring that the far-right FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) could not capitalize on anti-immigrant rhetoric as much as many feared.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Péter Techet reads the Vienna municipal election as indication that the far-right is highly unlikely to become the strongest party in Austria. Techet thinks FPÖ could not reach beyond the “30 per cent potential Nazi voters who have always been present in Austria”. Techet finds it reassuring that in Austria and in European countries in general, the far-right has become stronger but cannot win power – unlike in Hungary, where, he claims, “FPÖ-like parties are in government”.

Népszabadság in a front page editorial cautions against sweeping generalizations on the basis of the Vienna municipal elections. The leading left-wing daily finds it reassuring that Heinz-Christian Strache’s anti-immigrant fulminations did not translate into enough votes to defeat the openly pro-migrant left-wing Mayor Michael Häupl. Népszabadság nonetheless considers it important for moderate parties to reach out to those one million far-right voters who voted for the FPÖ in Vienna out of fear of increased immigration.

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