Austria: Sebastian Kurz Announces Coalition Deal with Green Party

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 02: Sebastian Kurz, head of the Austrian People's Party (OeVP) and Werner Kogler, head of the Austrian Greens party, who have established a new Austrian government coalition, shake hands after presenting their government policy program on January 2, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. This is the first …
Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

Leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Sebastian Kurz has announced a coalition agreement with the Green Party that will see several green policies but no changes to migration policy.

Mr Kurz, along with Green Party leader Werner Kogler presented their new government programme at a joint press conference on Thursday, with Kurz claiming the new government would be “the best of both worlds” and that its priorities would be tax reform and fighting illegal immigration, Kronen Zeitung reports.

The ÖVP leader added that both parties had also agreed to ban the Islamic headscarf for children under the age of 14 and would be expanding programmes to teach new migrants the German language and put more emphasis on getting asylum seekers into the labour force.

Kurz has been critical of migration policies within the European Union since forming the previous government with the populist Freedom Party.

In 2018, he went as far as confronting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue, disagreeing on her proposal to link EU funds to migration quotas.

Green leader Kogler, meanwhile, stressed the importance for Austria to combat climate change and said that the pricing of Co2 will be implemented into what he called a greening of the tax system. He also proposed a nation-wide public transit ticket that would cost around three euros per day.

The two-party leaders then met with leftist Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former member of the Green Party, with Kogler telling the Austrian press that the entire programme for the new coalition was still being worked on.

The Greens are expected to occupy four ministerial posts including the Environmental Ministry and the Justice Ministry, with the party demanding at least half of the ministers be female.

The successful government deal comes after Kurz was able to score a resounding victory in the Austrian national election in September of last year.

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

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