Who is Othmar Karas and is he beginning to have an influence on Chancellor Sebastian Kurz?
As Michael Burri explains in the linked article below, Karas is now posing some difficult questions for the ÖVP and its Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ahead of the next European Parliament elections in May 2019.
* Karas is part of the “old guard” OVP establishment that was submissive to Berlin. He was also an early and outspoken critic of Viktor Orban and Visegrád.
Karas, the leader of the Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP) delegation to the European Parliament, is widely viewed as one of the most influential Austrian MEPs.
Karas is married to Dr. Christa Waldheim-Karas, daughter of Kurt Waldheim and Elisabeth Waldheim. So Karas has influence in Austria and was right beside Kurz when he came out to punish Hungary on the Article7 vote.
According to Burri, Karas is viewed as the voice of Austria in Brussels and is understood to speak for Brussels when he is in Austria. At home, he is widely recognised as a “European” politician.
Karas has also been critical of the Freedom Party of Austria, which is currently part of Kurz’s governing coalition. Karas said in a recent Puls 4 television interview, “I am not in a coalition with the FPÖ.” As Burri notes, for Karas, defying the FPÖ is consistent with his political loyalties to Brussels and the EU project.
In our opinion, there seems to be some internal battle being waged in Austria. It seems as if Kurz is deciding between Karas and the old OVP (anti-V4 and FPO, but pro-Berlin) and his coalition partners FPO (Freedom Party).
We may get some clues soon which direction this is going if Karas is chosen to lead the OVP Party in the European elections.
While the V4 Report would have our disagreements with the author, Burri gives a nice summary of the current situation in Austria regarding Kurz and Karas.
Several weeks ago, coinciding with the Article7 vote against Hungary, Karas appeared on our radar screen. We believe it would be a colossal mistake for Kurz to embrace the agenda of Karas and the OVP “old guard”.
This is exactly what Kurz campaigned against. He would be wise not to fall into this trap. Austrians did not elect Kurz to please Angela Merkel, Othmar Karas and the high society of Brussels.
They elected him to clean-up the streets of Vienna and to reverse the damage of the previous OVP-SPO coalition that blindly followed Germany and allowed Austria to be flooded with illegal migrants. How is Vienna these days?
If Kurz is serious about stopping illegal migration, combating rabid multicult and denying entry to Europe, he will have to stick with allies that will work with him, not against him.
Viktor Orban, Matteo Salvini, Visegrad and the FPO may not have the title of “Prince” before their names, but they have a hard grasp of reality and the determination and vision to defend and restore Europe. Kurz has no chance to achieve his goals on migration without their help and support.
What can Othmar Karas offer besides “more EU, more Germany and more migrants”?