* Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz will hold coalition talks with the Freedom Party (FPO), both sides said on Tuesday, bringing the anti-immigration party a step closer to power.
Kurz took a hard line on immigration and emphasized border security in the campaign that left little space between him and the FPO. Both want to slash the amount of welfare given to migrants, a mechanism to deport the illegals outside of Europe and a plan to close the Mediterranean route.
Austria occupies a strategic border area with Italy and is a member of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) along with Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia.
“I have therefore decided to invite (FPO leader) Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPO today to take part in coalition talks,” Kurz told a news conference. He hopes to have an agreement by Christmas. A Kurz/FPO coalition…..a wonderful gift for Angela Merkel.
Kurz repeated that any government must have a clear “pro-European” orientation, but wants a “streamlined EU” that focuses on core tasks like trade and protecting external borders.
Strache said he also backed that more limited role for the EU (the fourth of five scenarios for the future of the bloc laid out by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in March) which Strache called “less but better”.
It looks like the new government of Austria will be strong allies with Visegrad regarding migration, border security and returning sovereignty and power back to the European nation states.
Guy Verhofstadt and his fellow travelers will have to face reality – their dream of a Federal Republic of Europe is dead.