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European Elections

Austria on the edge: Government set to COLLAPSE – and it could cause an EU nightmare

AUSTRIA’S government is on the verge of collapse due to a shock resignation, opening the door to the far-right Freedom Party.

And the crisis could a huge headache for Brussels as the anti-EU Freedom Party is currently leading in the polls.Yesterday the future of the coalition government was thrown into doubt after Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner resigned, prompting calls for an election.

Many within his People’s Party believe an election should be called rather than simply replacing him as party leader and continuing the shaky coalition with the Social Democrats.

The two parties had clashed regularly since taking power together in 2013 and Mr Mitterlehner’s resignation looks set to be the uneasy alliance’s death knoll.

Austria electionGETTY          The People’s Party have a chance at power as Austria’s government faces collapse


Officials also fear the resignation could provide a huge chance for the far-right Freedom Party, who were founded in 1956 by a former Nazi and are vehemently opposed to migration and the European Union.The party came incredibly close to securing the country’s presidency last year when candidate Norbert Hofer stormed to victory in the first round of victory before being defeated in the second.

Now the party are setting their heights higher and hope to secure control of the government during the next election – which could come sooner than previously expected.The Freedom Party are leading in the polls and would be expected to win around a third of the national vote if an election were to be held.

Austria electionGETTY          Reinhold Mitterlehner’s resignation has thrown Austrian politics into chaos


The Social Democrats, on the other hand, are polling at around 25 per cent while the People’s Party are polling even lower.With this in mind, observers believe both coalition parties will do everything they can to avoid giving the Freedom Party a shot at power and will only call an election as a last resort.

AustriaGETTY          Nobert Hofer lost to Alexander Van der Bellen in last year’s Austrian presidential election


Chancellor Christian Kern has already announced his intention to continue working with the People’s Party, who now hold responsibility over whether to call an election.

Sebastian Kurz is expected to be named the new leader of the party, as well as the new Vice Chancellor, over the next few days.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/803179/austria-government-vice-chancellor-resign-Reinhold-Mitterlehner-peoples-party

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