Populist Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache defended his country’s move to pull out of the UN migration pact saying he was only concerned with what is best for Austrians.
The leader of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) said, “We are only responsible to our Austrian population as government officials. Austrian sovereignty has top priority for us, this must be preserved and protected,” Kronen Zeitung reports.
Mr Strache added that the migration pact would also create a possibility that “people who are unlawfully coming to Austria are legally compliant.”
“In the government’s program, we have promised to stop illegal migration, to protect citizens’ safety, and to protect the borders,” he said and added that voters would question the government if they reneged on that promise by signing the pact.
Austria Follows Trump and Withdraws from UN Migration Treaty to Preserve Sovereignty https://t.co/RmzgXwrDzI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 31, 2018
When asked about other countries who have signed the pact Strache said, “We do not care how many states join and which do not. We are pioneers when it comes to ensuring the sovereignty and the self-determination of Austria, so as not to end up with foreign rule.”
The move was lauded by the German populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) who praised Austria along with the United States and Hungary who have also rejected the pact. AfD co-chair Alice Weidel said, “Germany must not sign this pact which is an incalculable risk to our country and to the whole of Europe.”
The rejection by Austria may inspire additional countries to abandon the pact as well with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis revealing that he too did not support the pact and expressed a desire to pull the Czech Republic out of it as well.
“I do not like the pact,” Babis said and added, “There are issues that can be interpreted in various ways. I will be proposing to my partners in government that we act in the same way as Austria or Hungary.”
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com