Austria’s far-right Freedom Party gained over one-fifth of the votes in Sunday’s general election, while the ruling two-party centrist coalition got its worst-ever result. The swing comes amid a Europe-wide surge in support for the far right.
Though Austria’s two major centrist political parties, the conservative Popular Party and the center-left Social Democrats, have retained their majority in parliament, the resurrection of the far-right in Europe is a solid tendency marking a shift in the political mentality of Europeans.
Euroskeptic and right-wing parties in Austria have gained support from people who think the issues that matter most to them aren’t being addressed.
The extreme, radical right is drawing mass support from working-class, blue-collar voters, Sylvia Kritzinger, a political scientist at the University of Vienna, tells RT’s Peter Oliver. “Because of the policies they put forward, like immigration reform, anti-European integration, anti-corruption in the political system.”
The Viennese people Peter Oliver talked to are certain they want to “slow down immigration,” stop the EU “dictating everything” and “put Austria’s interests first.”
The leader of the Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache [pictured], insists he is not a racist. “I love Austria, I don’t hate foreigners,” he says.