Austrian elections: With Salvini gone for now, Austria once again becomes a key battleground in Europe, especially regarding migration.
An update regarding the players involved, recent polls and possible coalitions.
* Sebastian Kurz is hard to trust and all over the map, but he does not always genuflect to the establishment in Brussels. While he is overly loyal to the EPP and misguided regarding Article7 procedures against Hungary and Poland, we do sense tension between Kurz and Macron. This could be a good thing moving forward if it can weaken Macron and drive a wedge between the EPP and Macron’s Renew Europe.
The EU was shaken to the core when both Austria (2017) and Italy (2018) shifted gears away from Brussels and embraced migration agendas closer to Visegrad, whose position was strengthened as a result.
Since both anti-migration governments have fallen within the past year, this has left the four Visegrad states as the only viable anti-migration governments still standing (perhaps Bulgaria too) in the EU.
In our opinion, the current demographics are not positive, which is why of course, we believe it is vital for another Kurz-FPO government, although this may not materialize.
We shall see, but with Kurz it’s impossible to predict with whom he will partner with next. Kurz’s decision (he will win) could determine much about the direction of the EU
Kurz has disappointed many times but he has also had his good moments, especially regarding the UN and migration. While Kurz is not a reliable ally, a coalition with the FPO would be beneficial to Visegrad…and even possibly Salvini (FPO aligned with the League) in the future.
* Below is a more detailed update of the players involved, recent polls and possible coalitions (updated from our July 31st post).
👉 Austrian snap elections: Sebastian Kurz (OVP) will win, but not a majority.
Kurz will face a dilemma in forming a new government. Who he chooses as a partner will reveal the true identity of Kurz…a political opportunist with only personal ambition or one committed to principal and making the tough but bold decisions to see them through.
In Austria, it’s not difficult to distinguish between the choices. The alternatives to the FPO are downright frightening…a combination of Frans Timmermans, Ska Keller and Guy Verhofstadt. 😖
– Unique Research poll August 18-22:
OVP 36% (Kurz, EPP)
SPO 20%. (Socialists, Martin Schulz-types)
FPO 20% (Freedom Party, Salvini ally)
Greens 12% (Extreme left, pro-migration)
NEOS 9% (Left-Liberal, EU federalism)
1. While the leftist media will lobby against this, Kurz’s natural and only reasonable choice is the FPO. If Kurz is truly serious about stopping mass migration, the UN migration compact, EU membership for Turkey and defending the sovereignty of the European nation state, his only choice is the FPO, which will work with him on these issues.
However, since the Strache tapes and fall of the last government coalition, there is much tension, mistrust and bitterness between the two. Many of Kurz’s advisors are ‘old-school’ EPP hacks, used to following the lead of Germany’s Grand Coalition. One in particular, Othmar Karas, despises the FPO and helped convince Kurz to support Article7 against Hungary last year.
In addition, the FPO may no longer trust Kurz to partner with after the stunt he pulled with FPO Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, who was a strong minister and had nothing to do with any scandals. Kurz had demanded the resignation of Kickl (the architect to much of the needed migration reforms in Austria), something he knew was impossible, in order to keep the coalition together.
2. The SPO is part of Frans Timmermans’ Party of European Socialists and largely responsible (along with Karas and former OVP partners) for allowing Austria to be flooded with illegal migrants in 2015-16. They meekly submitted to the demands of Angela Merkel.
Kurz had repudiated this former partnership in his rise to the top. They are bitter rivals, especially regarding migration and Islam. Any move back to this type of arrangement would discredit Kurz and be seen as a betrayal to Austrians who voted for change after decades of being ruled by the old OVP/SPO establishment.
3. The Greens suffered a catastrophic defeat in the 2017 (4%) elections and have no seats in the National Council. However, they have benefited from the recent scandals.
However, the Greens are all about mass migration, radical feminism and rabid multicult…and are not a fit for the agenda that propelled Kurz to power in 2017.
4. The NEOS are some type of far-left “pink” sect that favors a United States of Europe and are with Guy Verhofstadt’s Renew Europe group in the EU Parliament. Again, this is not the type of group Kurz can work with to achieve his goals.
* Any type of effort for Kurz to bypass the FPO in favor of some combination of pro-migration Socialists, Greens or Verhofstadt EU federalists would discredit Kurz and reveal him as a political charlatan concerned with power alone.
Likewise, the FPO would be wise to realize, despite being scorned earlier, that they can have the most influence in a government with Kurz. As long as Kurz is reasonable, the FPO must play ball.
The two must sit behind closed doors to work things out…they have no other choice if they want to defend and move Austria forward and prevent any type of reoccurrences similar to 2015.
For Kurz, this is a particular defining moment. The CSU in Germany chose to surrender their principles to remain in power with Merkel and are now firmly entrenched with the establishment in Germany. However, the CSU no longer has an identity and has lost much respect and credibility; moreover, one sees very clearly how this worked out for Germany without a true centre-right party. It is a pure disaster.
Kurz will either choose the FPO to help him achieve his migration goals, or Austria will soon have its own version of Germany’s Grand Coalition.
Good luck with that!