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Austria's 'tug of war'

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Austria's 'tug of war'

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The leaders of today will be held accountable by the generation of tomorrow, is how the EU’s migration commissioner has responded to Austria’s new Chancellor and coalition government – which has brought the far-right to power.

Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party has joined forces with the nationalist Freedom Party, both of them pledging to tighten up asylum and immigration regulations. This, after Austria was swept up by the 2015 refugee crisis.

The parties want to mantain a firm commitment to the EU, but critics say the coalition could have “very dangerous consequences.” Some are not ruling out sanctions, if the bloc’s values are threatened.

“When we have this kind of alliance, there is a sort of tug of war, who will prevail upon the other,” Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s Commissioner for Migration, told Euronews.

“But the basic values upon which the Austrian democracy is built are very resilient. Governments must remember one thing. That they come and go. States and their nations are there as Europe will be there in the future.

“So, they must take responsible decisions because as leaders today of some countries, will be held accountable historically in the eyes of next generations.”