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Snap election may not end Austrian government crisis

Monday, May 22, 2017

Significance

This comes after the sudden resignation of Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner as head of the OeVP, announced on May 10, precipitated a government crisis. His successor as party leader, 30-year-old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, two days later unilaterally declared the collapse of the grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPOe) live on television, demanding a snap parliamentary election.

Impacts

  • Kurz is likely to represent a more critical line on the EU, pushing for reforms.
  • Bad blood between the SPOe and the OeVP could open the door for a coalition with the FPOe even if it incurs losses.
  • As in France, there is a trend towards personality politics in a country where political parties have traditionally been dominant.
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