Austria a ‘Bulwark Against Mass-Migration’: German Populist Leader

STUTTGART, GERMANY - MAY 01: Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) deputy chairman Alexander Gauland pictured at he party's federal congress on May 01, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. The AfD, a relative newcomer to the German political landscape, has emerged from Euro-sceptic conservatism towards a more right-wing leaning appeal based in large …
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The Bundestag chairman of the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Alexander Gauland expressed joy at the results of Sunday’s Austrian election saying the country had now become a “bulwark against mass-migration”.

Mr. Gauland, who led the Alternative for Germany in their successful recent campaign in the German national elections last month, said that he wanted to see a coalition form between the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) who came first in the race.

Though he expressed a desire to remain out of Austrian affairs, Gauland said he would like to see “that a government forms between ÖVP head Sebastian Kurz and Heinz-Christian Strache of the FPÖ,” Tag 24 reports.

The AfD and the FPÖ have maintained a connection over the last several years with previously both being members of the European Parliament group Europe for Nations and Freedom (ENF). The AfD left the ENF earlier this year when its sole representative Markus Pretzel quit the party following the September national election.

Former AfD leader Frauke Petry, who also quit the party last month to start her own party, has maintained friendly relations with FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache who led the FPÖ to one of their best electoral results on Sunday evening.

While the AfD does not look to be included in the next German coalition, many have predicted that the FPÖ will sign a deal with Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) leader Sebastian Kurz who scored a big victory in the election.

Both the FPÖ and the ÖVP have made similar policy promises on issues of mass migration and Islamisation. While Sebastian Kurz has taken a hard approach to Islamisation by passing a ban on Islamic veils known as the niqab and burqa, Heinz-Christian Strache has vowed to ban Islamism entirely.

Talks for a new coalition are expected to occur in the coming days and weeks.

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


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