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Monday, October 16, 2017

Radio Vatican deeply concerned about the result of the Austrian election

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Austria has decided that the People's Party under Sebastian Kurz has emerged as a clear victor of the elections this Sunday. In short, the government has now a mandate. This scenario also seems to suggest a coalition of the People's Party with the liberal-populist FPÖ. It was a difficult choice for Christians in the country, whose election campaign was also marked by mutual hits beneath the belt and populism.

Sebastian Kurz, however, could now become a source of hope for the Alpine region: this is maintained by the electoral observer and Catholic publicistm Heinz Nußbaumer. The political pressure from the right was undeniable, but now had to be conducted in quieter waters, says Nußbaumer in conversation with Vatican Radio. "Both parties - the ÖVP and the FPÖ - who have called for a stricter, the FPÖ even for a very strict migration policy, have won very strongly. The issues of security, migration, fear of Islamism were certainly the dominant motives. The second phenomenon is the deep-seated wish of the Austrians to change the basic constants of politics. "

According to Nußbaumer, this constellation of electoral themes, which was "massively overplayed" in the election campaign, had made the vote so complicated for Christians: "The decisive factor for me as a Christian on election day was the fact that precisely those two parties, have presented themselves as the hardest in terms of migration, dealing with refugees, and closing refugee routes. "

The Christian faith had been a "sign of our culture and identity" but Christian content was missing. In this context, Nußbaumer points to the theologian Paul Michael Zulehner, who had already identified the precarious situation for Christians before the election: "Not a few Christians will be politically homeless this time because political action on the refugee question, these populist simplifications and the lack of a Christian inspired and attractive vision of an Austria of the future disrupts many committed believers and has brought them into a difficult emotional isolation. "

The scaremongering of the threatened Islamization might thus have possibly decided the Austrian election, the more important is now a rethink, says the long-term head of the Austrian Presidential chancery. "We must now look to see if these two parties [ÖVP and FPÖ, Note], should they jointly form a coalition, then descend from this exposed position given governmental responsibility."

In any case, he expects a Chancellor such as Kurz to say that the "exclusion emotions" observed in the election campaign will now be replaced by "a more moderate and responsible attitude, but also a humanitarian and Christian understanding", Nußbaumer is confident.

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