Austrians, weary of the European Union’s mass Muslim immigration plans, installed a conservative government and elected a chancellor who will become the world’s youngest head of state.
The People’s Party, alternatively referred to as “nationalist” and “Eurosceptic” by the liberal mainstream media, won the most seats in parliamentary elections, taking roughly 31 percent, and was expected to form a government coalition with the likeminded Freedom Party. The People’s Party is led by 31-year-old former Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, nicknamed “Wunderwuzzi”—rough translation “wonder hotshot”—who campaigned heavily on a platform opposed to the mass Muslim migration quotas being forced by the European Commission.
Far from the “far-right” designation the media has heaped upon it, the People’s Party is the mainstream conservative political party in Austria, and has been around for roughly 30 years. The Freedom Party, rather, has emerged more recently as opposition to EU immigration policies has mounted—and its leaders have charged that Kurz coopted its message in his own campaign.
The Social Democrats had been in control of the ruling government coalition, which fell apart this past spring after just one year. They are likely to form the main opposition party in parliament.
Analysts predict this could lead to Austria promoting more reforms to the EU and more autonomy for the member states. Populism, they have said, is far from dead in Europe.