On April 25, Austria’s far-right, anti-immigration platform FPÖ Freedom party picked up over 35% of the vote in the first round of national elections.
The center-right ÖVP and center-left SPÖ parties were shutout for the first time since WWII. A second round of voting is on May 22 between the Green party and FPÖ.
The vote is for president, a largely ceremonial role, but the fallout has already begun.
The effective leader of Austria is not the president but the chancellor, and today the chancellor suddenly resigned, sending shockwaves throughout the EU.
New elections are likely.
Chancellor Werner Faymann Resigns
The Financial Times report Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann Resigns After Far-Right Surge.
Austria’s chancellor has resigned after he lost the support of his own party in the wake of the presidential elections last month in which his social democratic SPÖ was trounced by the far-right Freedom party.
Werner Faymann had come under pressure from his centre-left party to work more closely with the anti-immigration FPÖ after its unexpectedly strong showing in the first round of the presidential election.
Mr Faymann’s resignation as chancellor and party leader will send shockwaves through Europe as politicians elsewhere assess the surge in support for anti-immigration parties
Norbert Hofer for the FPÖ won more than 35 per cent of the vote, far more than any other candidate. He had campaigned on a nationalist platform of strict limits on immigration, tough rules for asylum seekers and the break-up of the two-party system that has dominated Austrian politics since the end of the second world war.
The growing support for the far right has placed the SPÖ and ÖVP under greater pressure to work with the FPÖ if they want to remain in power. The social democratic party’s official position, set in 2014, rejects working with the FPÖ in coalition. Mr Faymann continued to defend that position even after Hans Niessl, an SPÖ provincial governor, broke ranks last year.
Mr Faymann was booed at an SPO May Day rally after the thrashing in the presidential vote. His popularity had plunged after initially backing the open-door policy of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on refugees.
Faymann Quits Calls for “New Start”
The Wall Street Journal reports Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann Quits on Migrant Issues.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann resigned on Monday, becoming one of the most prominent casualties of the political upheaval sweeping Europe amid the migration crisis.
Mr. Faymann, 56, a center-left politician who has been chancellor since 2008, said he was giving up his post as head of the Alpine country’s government with immediate effect. It was still to be determined, he said, who his long-term successor would be.
“This country needs a chancellor whose party is completely behind him,” Mr. Faymann told reporters in Vienna, stating that he was leaving because of insufficient backing within his Social Democratic Party. “This government needs a new start.”
Mr. Faymann didn’t call for new elections before stepping down, but Austrian media speculated that the government might do so in the coming days. The next regular parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in 2018.
Mr. Faymann’s resignation is the latest sign of political turmoil across Europe, driven by euro-skeptic, anti-immigrant, populist parties that are gaining traction as mainstream governments struggle to master growing migrant numbers and tackle economic doldrums.
In Denmark, the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party achieved stronger-than-expected election results last year, pushing the centrist government to take tougher measures to keep migrants out. In Germany, the upstart Alternative for Germany party made landmark gains in state elections in March and now polls at 15%, cementing its status as the most successful right-wing party in Germany since World War II.
Austria’s next political test comes on May 22, in the runoff presidential vote that will pit the Freedom Party’s Mr. Hofer against independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, who favors openness toward accepting refugees.
Wikipedia explains …
Though technically wielding powers comparable to that of the chief executives of semi-presidential systems, in practice, Austria operates under a parliamentary system of government, and the federal president is more a figurehead than an actual interventive politician.
In constitutional theory, the president has free rein in appointing the head of the federal cabinet and, by extension, free rein in appointing federal cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices, military officers, and most major bureaucrats. The president even has the authority to dissolve the National Council (the more powerful lower house of the Austrian parliament) more or less at will. However, as a practical matter, all the president ever does is fulfill purely ceremonial duties: much like British monarchs, holders of the office of President of Austria are bound by constitutional convention to aim at being nonpartisan custodians of political morality, to serve as symbols of national identity, and not to intervene in actual politics.
The president appoints and swears in the Federal Chancellor and, upon the advice of the chancellor, the federal ministers. In theory, the president can name as chancellor, and by extension a federal minister, anyone whom he sees fit. However the National Council can remove an individual minister or the Cabinet as a whole from office through a motion of no confidence. Also, a cabinet without enough support in the National Council could easily end up paralyzed. In practice, therefore, the cabinet’s composition reflects National Council election rather than presidential election results, and the chancellor is almost always the leader of the largest party in the governing coalition.
If FPÖ Freedom party candidate Norbert Hofer wins the runoff as I expect, then if new elections are called (Hofer himself can call for elections), look for an anti-immigration leader to head up Austria, not in 2018, but now.
This belongs on Merkel’s head. She should also resign.
By the way, ZeroHedge reports Poland Refuses To Accept Any Refugees “As They Pose A Threat To Security”, Will Not Comply With European “Blackmail”.
“Merkel Stew” is simmering nicely.
The EU Plan of $290,000 Per Person Fine on Countries Refusing “Fair Share” of Refugees has backfired already.
This mess also crystallizes the case For Brexit.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Merkel in turn is just following US orders.
David A said:
You know this how?
Erdogan repeatedly tells migrants to NOT ASSIMILATE.
Erdogan then sends money in to mosques and to groups to create mosques.
. Much of it illegally and immorally obtained from ISIS.
Parts of Europe are then changed from Judeo Christian to Only Muslim
with their own laws – they do not follow the laws of their Country
they follow the laws of their religion.
Erdogan tells them, the mosques tell them, Do Not Assimilate.
Do not learn the language. Do not work or if you do work send
the money home. If you do not work you will collect Government aide.
And EU wonders why there is a problem.
this a 2009 report. – Merkel knows very well the issue yet ignores it.
Study Shows Turkish Immigrants Least Integrated in Germany
A new study published on Monday shows that Turks are the least integrated group of immigrants in German society and are also less successful than immigrants from other countries in securing a job in Germany.
On a sliding scale of one (poorly integrated) to eight (well integrated), the report by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development shows that Turkish immigrants came last with a score of 2.4 despite being the second most numerous immigrant group in the country.
Turks failing in education, assimilation and employment areas
In the area of education, the study shows that 30 percent of students of Turkish origin do not have a school leaving certificate and only 14 percent pass their final secondary school examinations. In the state of Saarland, 45 percent of Turkish immigrants have failed to complete their high school education.
In terms of assimilation into society, Turkish immigrants are marked down due to the fact that less than a third of Turks born in Germany have chosen to obtain German citizenship and 93 percent have married within the Turkish community.
Unemployment among Turkish immigrants is high and many survive on state benefits while the reports shows a large number of Turkish women remain in the home to manage the family.
The Turkish government has sent 970 clerics — most of whom do not speak German — to lead 900 mosques in Germany that are controlled by a branch of the Turkish government’s Directorate for Religious Affairs. Turkish clerics in Germany are effectively Turkish civil servants who do the bidding of the Turkish government.
Erdogan has repeatedly warned Turkish immigrants not to assimilate into German society. During a trip to Berlin in November 2011, Erdogan declared: “Assimilation is a violation of human rights.”
Stuki Moi said:
Who are they comparing the Turks to? The Austrians and Swiss? Or perhaps a few Singaporean bankers and Japanese executives? How strange, the Turks come in last………
And any “study” down ranking immigrants from a large immigrant population with a different religious tradition, for not “outmarrying” as often as often as immigrants that are basically just Germans to begin with, or from an immigrant population of.
In the real world, while the Turks may fare below native born Germans according to some progressively lauded economic metrics, they fare lots and lots better than native born Greeks in their home country. And native born pretty much anyone in Europe south of Germany, in their native countries.
Germany is a functioning country, that has so far done a crazy good job of integrating and assimilating immigrants. Simply on account of having productive industry, capable of making a profit while still paying people genuinely aspirational wages.
There is a concern that the sheer number of new immigrants, in addition to Muslims rapidly becoming numerous (and increasingly politicized) enough to start having a much bigger say in the runnings of all European countries; will be much more problematic than the somewhat myopic view of German industry needing more workers, and unionized German workers needing more new hires filling in “underneath” them to warrant the promotions and raises they are accustomed to; account for. So I’m not saying the Europeans are “wrong” for being immigrant skeptic. And for countries like France, who wouldn’t be able to successfully assimilate a billionaire from Quebec, it will surely just mean more chaos.
But until Germans, or at least Europeans in general, start having kids, their significance will disappear regardless of immigration policy. Their leading employers will have no choice but to move to where not everyone is retired, like the big Japanese manufacturers are busy doing. Taking all the secondary jobs servicing the big guys’ high paid employees with them. In the long (and honestly not that long anymore) run, the future belongs to coming generations. Not to a bunch of dead guys who may have done great work in the past.
Stuki appears to believe the media.
rest assured the German People no longer do.
The sign says: “Lying press, system of lies, scandal”
May Day speech by Austrian chancellor Faymann – it seems about 75% of the rank and file comrades wanted him to resign – not right away, but the day before if possible. The man the camera focuses on at about 1:14 is shouting: “A**hole! Shut your trap!” – unheard of behavior at this type of normally well-scripted gathering.
The Minister of Justice Shouted down with chants of “Volksverräter” (traitor to the people), “leftist rat” and “get out”, he eventually flees, slinking away in his limousine.
Too little, too late. The damage is done. The camels nose was allowed into the tent. Now the rest of the camel is inside.
Aside from all this social engineering scuttlebutt, is anything going on on the financial front? Are there any economics blogs left out there?
There is little new ‘economy’ going on, hence little finance, just shuffling the pack and wondering who is going to pay the price.
Do you see anywhere or anything worth financing that hasn’t already been overdone or isn’t already in someone’s pocket ?
The plebes in Austria have awoken.
Hopefully the US GOP plebes can do the same and force Paul Ryan’s ouster as Speaker.
Ryan’s a liberal masquerading as a conservative. What nerve he has claiming Trump does not represent conservative values.
CNN and the other mainstream news outlets let him get away with it.
Maybe too late; but at least things are starting to move in the right direction. Merkel needs to go and the sooner the better.
Euro-skeptic, anti-immigrant, populist? So I am ll of this when I simply see no point in this madness to destroy our countries from inside out?
Our welfare programs, healthcare and schooling systems are collapsing not to mention the skyrocketing expenses of housing all these people. It is sure nice for them to move into the brand new houses that we the normal people can’t afford to buy…there they live with their 2-3 wives and a herd of kids running around. And we pay.
Anyone sees anything wrong with this picture? I sure do.
It’s called the ‘New World Order’ that my father warned me about.
I admire Mr. Faymann for putting Austria and democracy ahead of his own agenda. Too many times politicians will choose denial and fight the people. It’s better to agree to disagree than start civil unrest.