Comment 24 Oct 17

Austria’s Right Turn Will Set Balkan Liberals Back

If Austria’s conservatives put together a government with the far right, the effects will be felt from Brussels to the Balkans.

Marcus Tanner
Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, head of Austrian People's Party, speaks in a TV debate in Vienna on October 12. Photo: Ronald Zak/AP

With so much in Europe’s in-tray, including stalled Brexit negotiations and another looming crisis in Catalonia, Austria has slipped quietly out of the headlines since the October 15 surprise general election result.

As in Germany, coalition governments in Austria can take weeks or months to form, and Brussels will be hoping that the victorious centre-right People’s Party, OVP, under the youthful Sebastian Kurz will resume its old coalition with the Social Democrats, SPO, who came second.

If that happens, Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, not to mention Angela Merkel, can heave a sigh of relief.

But it might not work out that way – in which case the echoes will be felt all the way from Brussels to the Balkans.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

21 Nov 17

Local Chiefs’ Financial Abuses Blight Montenegrin Costal Town

Investigations may be hanging over two local party leaders – but that prospect does not seem to threaten their years-long grip on power in the seaside town of Ulcinj.

21 Nov 17

Ratko Mladic: Genocidal Criminal or Innocent Protector?

During a four-year trial, the Hague Tribunal has heard powerful and strongly-contested arguments about whether Ratko Mladic is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity or whether he simply defended Bosnia’s Serbs.

20 Nov 17

Serbia’s IMF Arrangement Ends on High Note