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Chancellor Kurz – an ally of Hungary?

December 20th, 2017

As the new right-wing coalition takes office in Austria, Hungarian commentators try to gauge the depth of the political change next door.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry welcomes the decision of the Austrian People’s Party to choose the anti-immigration Freedom Party as its coalition partner. She comtrasts this choice to the one made by Angela Merkel of Germany who is to ally herself again with the Social Democrats. In her description of the events in Austria, ‘the future has begun’, in sharp contrast to Germany where as she sees it, the Christian Democrats have still not realised that alliance with the Social Democrats is a recipe ‘of slow death’.

On hvg.hu, by contrast, Péter Techet believes the best solution for Austria has always been a grand coalition led by the Social Democrats. The last time the People’s Party ruled without them was a period of instability and corruption, and it is no wonder that voters reverted to the proven recipe of a grand coalition. Techet dismisses the opinion of the deputy floor leader of the  Austrian Social Democrats who warned that ‘the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is back’. He believes that although Chancellor Kurz agrees with Prime Minister Orbán of Hungary in curbing immigration and opposing a  more centralised European Union, he is not planning to increase the power of the executive – nor does he command the necessary sweeping majority in Parliament to do so.

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