Last night the news broke that the nationalist FPÖ (Freedom Party) have agreed a deal with the centre-right ÖVP (People’s Party) to enter coalition government for only the second time in the party’s history.
Nationalist leader Heinz Christian-Strache agreed the deal with People’s Party Chancellor-in-waiting Sebastian Kurz last night. Now it’s left to liberal President Alexander Van der Bellen to swallow his pride and ratify the proposed coalition government.
The Freedom Party entered government once before, in 2000, and the period was marked by abhorrent economic sanctions being placed on Austria by the anti-democratic European Union in response. The party buckled under international pressure and slipped away from the spotlight in 2005.
But this time, things are different. It is notable that this time, the news has not been greeted by threats of sanctions, or of diplomatic isolation. This is demonstrative of the Overton shift that has occurred in recent years, despite the superficial clamp-down on nationalist politics by the elite.
The enemy know they’re on the back foot, as it were; this is evidenced in their lack of response to Austria’s new governmental arrangements.
And make no mistake about it, this new coalition government is a major victory for nationalism in Europe, a true “white pill” so to speak.
It was only after a blatantly rigged re-run of the presidential election last year that the FPÖ narrowly lost the presidency to liberal soy-enthusiast Van der Bellen, who incidentally swore never to allow a Freedom Party government. How much humble pie the old usurper must be eating now!
Strache’s Freedom Party campaigned on a powerful anti-immigration platform, as well as a pledge to protect and expand social welfare, and protect Austrian people and culture from foreign interference. This was clearly popular with the people, and it was only through essentially adopting all of the Freedom Party’s major talking points that the Kurz’s People’s Party narrowly came first in the election.
Kurz has demonstrated that he is a departure from the traditional Christian conservatism of the European centre-right. At the tender age of 31, he is set to become the youngest Head of Government in the world, and with this youth he’s bringing new ideas to right-wing politics.
He has continuously demonstrated that he’s singing off the same hymn sheet as the FPÖ when it comes to immigration, and has not ducked from naming the culprits of the migrant invasion – namely George Soros, and his international clique of co-conspirators.
This coalition agreement is a very promising sign indeed, and one hopes that both parties continue their hard-line stance on the key issues of our epoch.