Friday, December 2, 2016

Austrian presidential campaign echoes Donald Trump, U.S. election

VIENNA -- Norbert Hofer of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party, narrowly lost the country’s presidential election last May to Alexander Van der Bellen, a more mainstream, pro-Europe candidate. But a court nullified the results after reports of irregularities, and a new election has been set for Sunday.
Founded by a former Nazi officer, the Freedom Party campaigned hard on an anti-immigrant platform. That hasn’t changed, but what has is the U.S. election.
“The Trump factor is here,” said political commentator Thomas Hofer. 
He said Donald Trump’s win has emboldened Austria’s right wing.
“You see huge parallels; the wall on the southern border is well and alive here in Austria as an issue, anti-immigrant message, anti-establishment message,” he said.

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