A statement by GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer on Austrian vote results

“The provisional Austrian election results ought to strike fear into everyone across the EU. Sebastian Kurz has clearly moved the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) to the right, winning Sunday’s vote through bigotry and prejudices towards migrants and Muslims. Meanwhile, a party with a neo-Nazi leader is, at the moment, in danger of finishing in second place. This is unthinkable for an EU country in the 21st century. It’s yet another signal that refugees and migrants in the EU need our help. It’s also a sad day for a fair and open society, and a more social EU based on solidarity.”

“This election must be the final wake-up call for the ruling elites of the EU. The dangerous shift to the right is still continuing and the crisis is far from being overcome in the EU. If anything, a new Austro-Hungarian alliance could block a modern migration policy that protects human rights and a reform of the European asylum policy based on solidarity and shared responsibility. This election result is therefore not a good omen for the EU summit at the end of this week. National self-interests and new borders will only further undermine the idea of a solidarity-based, democratic EU.

“Finally, the situation in Austria must act as a warning to all other EU countries where right-wing nationalist parties are on the rise. Anyone who accepts xenophobic parties and ideologies as part of a normal, democratic society is contributing to the normalisation of such unacceptable attitudes in the respective society. Prejudices create problems, they do not solve them. Consequently, only right-wing extremists benefit at the expense of heeding the worries and fears of our citizens by offering real solutions to their problems and concerns.”

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