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Austria: a threat to EU values?

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By Euronews
Austria: a threat to EU values?

<p>How much of a threat will Austria’s new chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the government be to the EU?</p> <p>A coalition of Kurz’s conservative People’s Party and the anti-immigration Freedom Party has seen it become the only western European country with the far-right in power. </p> <p>“It’s clear that for the current Austrian government a tougher stance on immigration is a very important priority, that’s what largely binds these two parties in the government,” said Dave Sinardet, from the Free University of Brussels. </p> <p>“And this is a priority for their domestic politics, in Austria obviously, but clearly this will also be a priority for their EU policies.”</p> <p>Austria was swept up in Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 and plans are afoot to curb benefits for refugees.</p> <p>All this, as the EU’s approach to the far-right is debated. </p> <p>“It seems to suggest that the EU only has a problem with far right parties governing in member states when they are anti-EU and that they certainly don’t have a problem with the far right parties anymore, when they are pro-EU,” commented Sinardet.</p> <p>The European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats group is warning Austria’s new coalition could have “very dangerous consequences.”</p> <p>Its president not ruling out sanctions, if EU values are threatened. </p> <p>The last time the Freedom Party – founded in the 1950s by former Nazis – came to power there were mass demonstrations. Not this time, with Europe home to a very different political landscape.</p>