Austria debuts a Government of conservatives and green

Austria has released this Tuesday, the first federal Government of conservatives and greens of its history. The leader of the conservatives (ÖVP), Sebastian Kur

Austria debuts a Government of conservatives and green

Austria has released this Tuesday, the first federal Government of conservatives and greens of its history. The leader of the conservatives (ÖVP), Sebastian Kurz, has taken the oath in Vienna as the new chancellor and returns to the head of the Government at the helm of a coalition with the ecologists. "We've combined the best of two worlds," he said a few days ago the leader of the democrat to reach an agreement with The Greens after an intense negotiation for the bridging the gap program between the two formations. The new Executive will have more women than men, and supposes a novelty in the european arena, where coalitions tend to unite environmentalists with parties of the left or center.

Kurz, 33, returns to the top after failing miserably the coalition with the far right (FPÖ) in his first Government, which lasted barely a year and a half and broke up last may when a video recorded with a hidden camera exposed with the focus on the alleged attempt by the then radical leader Heinz-Christian Strache of offering public contracts in exchange for funding elections.

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The second opportunity of the pragmatic Kurz Austria punishes the ultras by suspicions of corruption and aúpa the conservative Kurz Greens austrians regain their space driven by the fight against climate change

The new chancellor passes from the experiment with the extreme right to another with The Greens, a pirouette that responds to the will of the voters, as has been argued. The popular austrian won with clarity the early elections to the past September with the 37.5% of the vote (six points more than in 2017), which renewed the confidence of the electorate in spite of the fiasco of the alliance with the ultra-right, who lost ten points and sank up to 16%. Although in the fourth place after the social democrats and the ultras, The Greens were the second winners of the election night to achieve a spectacular 14% after being off the austrian Parliament two years before by not overcome the legal barrier of 4%.

The new partners add up to a majority of 97 of 183 seats in the austrian Parliament. In the Government of 17 members (other than the federal chancellor, 14 ministers and two secretaries of State), 12 are of the popular and five of The Greens as a minority partner. The two parties have already worked together at regional and local level, but this time he premiered as a coalition in a federal Government. In addition, also for the first time, what will you do with an Executive with more women than men (six women ministers of the ÖVP and three of Green).

The new vice-chancellor of the Government will be the head of The Greens Werner Kogler, 58-year-old, who managed to stabilize and save the party after his departure from the House in 2017, and that has led to a Government agreement ratified overwhelmingly by the party base last Saturday (93,18%).

"Europe is watching us and what we do is important on a continental scale", stated during the extraordinary congress Kogler to defend the coalition agreement, of 326 pages which has required compromises by both parties, some "painful" for the progressive positions of the party. But the measures to fight against climate change, in favour of transparency in party financing and the fight against child poverty and social inequality, justify a covenant in which The Greens have had to accept reductions in taxes required by the ÖVP and the very restrictive policy of immigration and asylum Kurz started with the ultras and promised to maintain in the future. Although the militants supported the participation in the Government, there was criticism of the concessions made to the conservatives.

in Addition, Kogler has stressed that the new Executive can be a precedent for other countries in which records a strengthening of the environmental movement, on the one hand, and of conservative tendencies, on the other. In that line, the president of the European people's Party, Donald Tusk, has said that this agreement is a guideline for the conservatives because the protection of the planet "is for christians the eleventh commandment".

"At the european level, the conservatives will observe what this Government Kurz," stresses Paul Schmidt, secretary general of the think tank ÖGfE (Austrian Society for European Policy), with headquarters in Vienna. "Wonder if it can work as a coalition with green parties as a new version" of alliance politics, he says. The alliance of austria also awaken interest in the community framework, where the Covenant Green will be a priority of the Commission, says Schmidt.

Austria is not the only european country cogobernado by a green party, but in this case it will do so with a right-wing party that has in recent years hardened its discourse and has taken positions of extreme right-wing of the FPÖ, especially in the migration policy. Finland, Sweden, Lithuania or Luxembourg have coalitions of environmentalists with democrats, formations, centre-left or liberal (in the luxembourg case).

The economist Inga Fechner, ING, points out in a note to clients that the Executive of the austrian will be an "interesting test bench for the rest of Europe, and particularly Germany, where The Greens are also on the rise and have also been in the discussion of a possible alliance at the federal level. "A coalition government as the austrian could become a policy option in most countries," adds Fechner.

however, both parties run the risk of facing their voters and traditional and the two leaders austrians have stressed that his initiative is an experiment "daring".

Updated Date: 07 January 2020, 19:00

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