Austria Elections Reflect Europe’s Right-wing Surge


Originally published by Voice of America

Austria’s elections on Sunday could see Norbert Hofer chosen as the country’s first far-right leader since World War II. Austrians will head to the polls following a victory this week by Francois Fillon, the more right-leaning of two candidates in France’s conservative primary.

“It’s a pretty amazing thing when you think a party only formed three years ago can end up defeating Angela Merkel’s party,” said Douglas Murray, a commentator and associate director of the Henry Jackson Society in London. He said the losses reflected anger among voters who feel they have been ignored or written off for complaining about things like Merkel’s policy of accepting refugees in large numbers.

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