Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Austrian election seen as mostly positive for Hungary’s government

October 17th, 2017

A pro-government columnist expects that cooperation between Austria and Hungary will improve under the new Austrian government led by Sebastian Kurz. A liberal commentator thinks that a right-wing coalition’s restrictive stance on intra-EU migration may create friction between Austria and Hungary.

Magyar Idők’s Levente Sitkei believes that the victory of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) is good news for Hungary. The pro-government commentator calls Sebastian Kurz a ‘Wunderkind’, a term used to describe the 5-year-old which likens him to Mozart in the 18th century. Sitkei attributes Mr Kurz’ success to his rejection of the pro-immigration rhetoric of the Austrian Left and his call to close off the southern border of the EU. Sitkei recalls that Mr Kurz has also been supportive of the Visegrád 4 alliance. In light of all this, Sitkei is hopeful that Hungary has gained an important ally in Mr Kurz.

In Index, Sándor Joób agrees that Mr Kurz has been supportive of Prime Minister Orbán’s migration policies as well as of the Visegrad 4 cooperation. The liberal commentator suspects that as Austrian Chancellor, Mr Kurz is less likely to criticize Hungary’s illiberal government and its anti-immigrant stance. Joób, however, also believes that the likely coalition of the ÖVP and the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) may create new friction between Hungary and Austria, as Mr Kurz has called for stricter restrictions on intra-EU migration and employment, while the FPÖ have gone so far as to demand a ban on the employment of non-Austrian EU citizens at lower wages. In addition, both potential coalition partners believe welfare benefits should be made conditional on several years of employment in Austria.

Tags: , , ,