United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has slammed the new Austrian conservative-populist coalition government claiming their right-wing policies are “dangerous.”
Al Hussein said he was “very worried” about the implications for the rest of Europe after the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) formed a new government earlier this week Kronen Zeitung reports.
The UN official called the coalition a “dangerous development in the political life of Europe,” and said he was particularly concerned with the new hardline migrant policies endorsed by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
EU Deeply Divided On Migration As Austria’s New Chancellor Rejects Migrant Quotas https://t.co/GdXBGGDETy
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He also slammed Kurz, saying the new Chancellor had “moved sharply to the right on the question of immigration and the rights of migrants in order to secure votes from the camp of the Freedom Party of Heinz-Christian Strache and thus win the Chancellery.”
“We have to be very careful about whether there is an imitation effect for other politicians in Europe,” Al Hussein said and warned, “The extreme right should think very carefully about where it leads its countries and the continent in general.”
The Socialist faction in the European Parliament has also come out against the new coalition saying they would not rule out similar sanctions against Austria that were threatened in 2000 when the FPÖ last formed part of a coalition government.
French EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici countered the socialists saying the situation was different from 2000 and that implying that sanctions were unlikely.
The coalition was also met with protest from far-left activists on Monday in Vienna as extremists clashed with police in an attempt to break through their lines during the inauguration of the government at the Hofburg palace.
The new coalition sees the populist anti-mass migration FPÖ gain several key ministerial positions including Defence, the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry. FPÖ leader, and new Vice Chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache has previously vowed to lower migration levels to zero and ban radical Islamic extremism from Austria.