Recent Austrian presidential elections ended with a statistical tie. After some disputable oscillations, the green man defeated the younger anti-immigration candidate and became the president.
But Austria's right-wing inclination hasn't disappeared at all. On the contrary, today's parliamentary elections – with a shockingly high turnout around 80% – ended with a clear victory of the right-wing, "acceptably" anti-immigration party led by 31-year-old whizz-kid Sebastian Kurz. ÖVP has earned 32% which is 8% more than last time.
"Far right" and strongly antimigration Freedom Party FPÖ got 27.4%, over 6% more than the last time, and is Kurz's preferred coalition partner. The right-wing coalition will have a very safe majority.
At the end, the SPÖ social democrats led by current prime minister Kern dropped from the 2nd place to 3rd place with 26.7% but it won't be enough. They got as much as they did last time. Note that for an Austrian party to be successful above 10%, it has to have both Ö and P in their 3-letter acronym. So who lost deputies?
Shockingly enough, the Green Party led by Ulrike Luňáček only got 3.3% and will remain out of the Parliament – the threshold is 4%. Luňáček is one of the many Czech bird surnames, meaning a "little kite" (black kite or red kite, the color is not specified). That's a huge drop from 12.4% they got last time.
But this huge drop is partially explained by one party that got in, PILZ led by Mr Pilz (no relation to the beer invented in my hometown). Mr Pilz left the Green Party some years ago and his new party actually got more successful, about 4.1% (a risk exists it will be beneath the threshold), after he funded his party by crowdfunding!
NEOS, a libertarian party, got 5%, just like last time. The remaining parties have 2%, much less than 11% last time.
OK, the youngest prime minister in the world Kurz (31) will team up with the far right party (which had Haider if you remember) and will make a clearly anti-immigration government. They may spiritually or formally join the Visegrád Group – but they may also trump the Visegrád Group in their opposition to mass migration. While they will switch to the anti-immigration frequency now, Austria has actually accepted the greatest number of immigrants as a percentage of their population in the whole EU!
Visegrád plus Austria (yellow) would actually have a greater number of EU lawmakers than any individual member state – and it would beat Germany in some other respects, too.
Congratulations to Austria. If I were offered a similar composition of the Czech parliament next week (our elections are Friday and Saturday), I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Ours will be much less satisfactory, I think.
Austria has sued Hungary over its planned expansion of a nuclear power plant (with some Russian help). I sincerely hope that this Austrian Ludditism – which has previously targeted Czechia many times – will weaken due to this implosion of the Green Party.