Exclusive: Austrian Economics Think-Tank Backs Populist-Conservative Coalition

Dr Barbara Kolm, president of the Hayek Institute, an Austrian economics think-tank.
Chris Tomlinson/Breitbart London

VIENNA, Austria — The Hayek Institute, a think-tank based on the principles of Austrian economics believes that the best result in Austria’s coming election would be a populist-conservative coalition and that immigrants must accept the laws and traditions of their new country to succeed.

Breitbart London sat down with the president of the Hayek Insititute Dr Barbara Kolm to discuss this coming Sunday’s Austrian national election, mass migration and the challenges facing Austria’s economy.

Dr Kolm highlighted the two main right-wing parties in Austria, the anti-mass migration populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) as the best outcome for maximizing freedom and liberty in Austria.

“The FPÖ has proven in the past decade that it is the party that promotes individual and entrepreneurial freedom best,” she said and noted that as long as the “new ÖVP” under Sebastian Kurz sticks to its campaign pledges, a coalition between the two would be the best result.

“Both of them are well known for their economic expertise. The FPÖ has demanded reforms for several legislative periods. If they had been heard Austria would face much fewer problems today and be in a better condition,” she added.

Since 2015 Austria has been one of the focal points of the migrant crisis and mass migration and although the Hayek Institute promotes libertarian values like free markets and free movement of labour Dr Kolm was cautious about uncontrolled mass migration.

“From a libertarian perspective, free movement of people is a precondition in a free society and is a question of respecting agreements. Immigration is an agreement as well. Immigrants accept their host country’s legislation and tradition,” she said.

“I do know that people in danger are to be supported. It´s the family of nations first duty to support those who flee from war, pursuit, hunger or whatever endangers their lives,” she added.

“But this does not necessarily mean that we have to welcome everybody, who claims to be an asylum seeker and/or refugee in our country. One has to differentiate between war refugees, migrants and people who seek welfare.”

The FPÖ has been deeply critical of the migrant crisis and both the government’s role as well as the role of the European Union. FPÖ  leader Heinz-Christian Strache has promised to greatly reduce mass migration to nearly zero and recently praised the British Brexit vote saying the UK will be better off without the European Union.

Regarding the Austrian economy, Kolm said, “Structural reforms in the fields of taxes, pension, education, healthcare are overdue. Entrepreneurs and businesses, who create jobs, need to be relieved from inefficient labour laws and regulation. In short: stop wasting taxpayers´ money.”

The Hayek Institute is an Austrian economics think-tank based in Vienna, Austria whose work is based on the work of various economists including its namesake, Nobel prize-winning economist Friedrich Von Hayek.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com 


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