Austrian OVP plays hardball with coalition partners

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By Robert Hackwill
Austrian OVP plays hardball with coalition partners

After the election victory of the centre-right ÖVP on Sunday in Austria, experts are trying to work out what kind of government can be formed in Austria. Most probably the winner will form a coalition with the hard-right FPÖ. Euronews spoke to political analyst Peter Filzmaier.

“This would be a coalition between a central right and a right party, and the program of these two match in many ways, for example in migration policy, but even in economic questions as both believe in a free market and less intervention by the state,” he told a member of our Budapest bureau.

However, ÖVP leader Sebastian Kurz also mentioned that he can imagine a minority government as well. According to Filzmaier this is probably part of the negotiating strategy.

“We have to make a difference between what the ÖVP is saying because of its strategy and what the ÖVP wants for real. Of course the ÖVP would like to form a minority government where all the ministers are named by them, but they could be talking about a minority government only to avoid paying too high a price to any future partner, for example the FPÖ,” he said.

“The winning party could also form a coalition with its former coalition partner, the Social Democrats, but according to analysts this has many barriers like the personal contrast between the two party leaders. For the ÖVP president, Sebastian Kurz it would be difficult to explain to his party members and voters why he forms a coalition again with this party, as he himself initiated the break in the former coalition with them,” reports euronews’ Daniel Bozsik from Vienna.