News & Politics

Anti-'Immigrant' Parties Likely to Win Tomorrow in Austria

"It's now or never" (Matthias R'der/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

The country of Haydn and Mozart has had a bellyful of the countries of Mohammed:

Austrians profiting from the fastest economic growth in six years look likely to ditch their current coalition in favor of a new government backed by anti-immigration nationalists and headed by the world’s youngest leader.

Polls suggest that Austria’s 31-year-old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz will lead his conservative People’s Party to victory in Sunday’s election. That could set the stage for a coalition with Heinz-Christian Strache’s populist Freedom Party, unwinding a decade of Social Democratic-led administrations that revived the economy but struggled with issues over immigration and welfare.

“People are worried about the future and that is the currency that matters in this election,” said Christoph Hofinger, head of the SORA polling institute in Vienna. “The debate is revolving around the issue of fairness, and a lot is also linked to migration.”

Note the Leftist framing of this story: the economy is good, so what’s the problem? But there’s more to quality of life than simply a booming economy, just as there’s more to nationality than the cover of a passport. And no story about Austria by the left-wing media would be complete without a reference to You Know Who:

The swell of anxiety over immigration to Austria began building 2015, when almost 70,000 mostly-Muslim refugees sought asylum from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Schools and hospitals in the nation of 8.7 million struggled to accommodate the newcomers, and disagreements over whether it was fair to give immigrants generous welfare support dominate the media.

Compared with 10 years ago, more Austrians say they feel like they’re not being heard and are in search of law-and-order leadership, a SORA institute study showed. More than two-fifths of voters declared their desire for a “strongman” leader, according to the research, periodically commissioned by the federal government to gauge public attitudes and consciousness about the country’s Nazi history.

For those of you born yesterday, that would be Austria’s history with the National Socialist German Workers Party (the party’s platform is at the link), whose chancellor, Adolf Hitler, was born in Braunau am Inn in Austria, with just a river separating it from Germany. Under Hitler, German troops rolled into Austria in 1938 and annexed the country — with the enthusiastic support of many Austrians — into the greater German Reich. Austria regained its independence after the war, and only narrowly escaped being dragged into the Soviet sphere.

Now, once again, its freedom is on the line, this time put at risk by another German chancellor and her irresponsible encouragement of Muslim “immigration.” The Austrians stopped the armies of Mohammed in 1529 (tomorrow, fittingly, is the anniversary of the end of the siege of Vienna) and in 1683. Now it’s time for them to do it again.

Meanwhile, in Germany, they’re just saying no to Islamic “holidays”:

A senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party has been rebuked by his own political allies for suggesting that Germany might introduce public holidays to celebrate the Islamic religion. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a party rally in northern Germany this week that he was willing to discuss Islamic holidays in areas with large Muslim populations.

There are an estimated 4.7 million Muslims in Germany, mostly immigrants from Turkey.

Alexander Dobrindt, who also belongs to Merkel’s conservative Union bloc, told the daily Bild on Saturday that he was against Islamic holidays: “Our Christian heritage isn’t up for negotiation.” Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats and their Bavaria-only sister party have been losing voters to the nationalist Alternative for Germany, which campaigns against Islam and large-scale Muslim immigration.