Austria

Austrian Nazi makes a mark

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Last month’s first round presidential election in Austria showed a dangerous shift to the right. Norbert Hofer of the fascist Freedom Party came top with 36 percent of the vote. In second place was the Green Party candidate with 20 percent.

There will be a run-off election between the two to decide the presidency on 22 May. Although the president is mainly a ceremonial role, Hofer has already claimed that he would dissolve parliament before the next parliamentary elections in 2018.

Letter from Germany

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Christine Buchholz, socialist MP and member of die Linke, reports on the refugee "crisis" in Germany.

As new refugees have reached Germany over the past few weeks there has been a very positive response from many ordinary people. The government did not provide the support refugees needed, so people mobilised to fill the gap.

Members of die Linke have been part of this — greeting refugees, supporting the initiatives in different cities to give them a proper welcome, decent housing and a supply of food.

Letter from Austria

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Manfred Ecker reports from Vienna on what is behind the growth of support for the Austrian far right parties.

The recent general election was a warning. The extreme right could soon become the strongest force in the Austrian parliament. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) got 17.5 percent and Jörg Haider's Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) got 10 percent.

Ordinary people in Austria are angry and feel betrayed by the elites. The left must build an alternative to the Social Democrats (SPO) otherwise the extreme right is going to strengthen its influence.

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