This Sunday, Austrian citizens' votes demonstrated that they want to see Sebastian Kurz from the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), Austria's previous chancellor, and his party in office again. Kurz received 37.2% of the vote. First of all, I would like to remark that Kurz and his party ÖVP managed a very successful election campaign. They have managed to reach the voters and tell them that they were the "victims" of the scandal that surfaced during the coalition government of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). They have managed to convince the voters.
Kurz not only managed to receive conservative voter's support; he also managed to bring a majority of the voters that were affected by FPÖ's far-right and populist arguments, back to the ÖVP.
He also successfully and masterfully managed to show to the voters that far-right and populist politicians are actually only causing scandals and simply speaking nonsense by exploiting subjects like the European Union, refugees, foreigners, Muslims and unemployment by giving false populist promises. Because of this, Austrian elections revealed a very important reality as well.
It also proved that it is possible for a conservative party to win the struggle against far-right and populist parties in Austria, in Italy and in many other European countries by showing the voters it is not a solution to see the far-right and populist parties as a hope and that these parties are a waste of time.
When we consider the future of the European Union, we should analyze Kurz, who even attracted votes from traditional supporters of the FPÖ. We must realize voters in Europe, whether from conservative center parties or far-right and populist parties, with every passing day are supporting those suggesting more radical solutions. Europe is no longer the Europe after the war. Europe, which is finding its place within the new world order, is a new bloc where the number of people returning to their national values is increasing.
Austria demonstrated this yet again.
Despite the great scandal, the FPÖ still received around 16% of the votes. It has lost one-fourth of its voters. This is true. However, one-third of its voters still support the party. We should not only see the glass as half empty; we should also see it as half full.
Against this, the social democracy,
which was the greatest hope of Europe after the war, continues to collapse. After the war, Austria was represented by the SPÖ. The SPÖ was almost everything in Austria. I had witnessed how powerful the SPÖ was in Austria during the time I lived there around the 1980s. Similar to Germany, social democracy has unfortunately with every passing day caused disappointment and is no longer the party of yesterday.
As the SPÖ diminishes and the conservative block strengthens, we should not be surprised to see the Greens become stronger as well, because the Greens are nurtured from both sides. On one hand, democrats, liberals and the youth who have lost faith in social democrats are electing the Greens as a last hope. On the other hand, another fraction who does not want more foreigners in their country, has an aversion to Muslims but is unable to declare this openly, and wishes for an end to the ecological demise of their world are also electing Greens.
Greens are also the choice of the voters driving the most expensive cars and living in the biggest houses but at the same time, wishing for a clean world and environment.
When it comes to Greens and Austria let's not forget Peter Pilz, who receive 1.9% of the vote with Liste Jetzt. It is remarkable that an old member of the Greens and someone who is even beyond far-right supporters when it comes to Turkey enmity received this many votes. The number of Pilzs in Austria is not low.
Yes, in the end Austria made its decision. There isn't much change. From the European Union's perspective, the balance has not shifted. Of course Sebastian Kurz with the new coalition government he will be forming can take a new beginning step. We would not be surprised if he continues with the FPÖ. The FPÖ might decide to mend its wounds by becoming the opposition.
Kurz declared that he would be meeting with all parties. We will be watching the outcomes of these meetings. Under no circumstances will Austria have a future without the ÖVP.
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