Werner Fayman, Social Democrat, who faced calls to resign after last month’s presidential election, says he has lost support of his colleagues.
The Guardian (h/t Susan K & Maria J) Austria’s social democratic chancellor has resigned suddenly, becoming the first major political victim of Europe’s refugee crisis after accusations from within his own party that he had caved in to rightwing populist demands to build fences on the country’s borders.
Werner Faymann, whose Social Democrats (SPÖ) suffered heavy losses in the first round of the presidential election last month, had initially taken a sympathetic approach to German chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy to support newcomers to Europe.
But with opinion polls consistently showing that the Freedom party (FPÖ), a rightwing populist group whose success is built on anti-Muslim immigration views and and fears of Islamization, was topping the popularity stakes, the 56-year-old did an abrupt U-turn.
He joined his coalition partners from the centre-right People’s party (ÖVP) in deciding to erect fences on Austria’s borders and, working in tandem with Balkan states on the migrant routes, encouraged them to do the same.
Faymann said he was proud his country had achieved a lot by giving tens of thousands of people asylum but “it would have been irresponsible to have not established our own measures”.
Because of Austria’s current citizenship laws, by 2022 all the African and Muslim illegal immigrants currently in the country will have full citizenship, including the power to vote.
Officially, the Social Democrats in 2014 ruled out any coalition with theFPO. But when the Social Democrats’ governor of Burgenland province, HansNiessl, broke this taboo last year, Faymann merely repeated suchcooperation would not happen on the federal level. ‘To demand the immediate integration of asylum seekers intothe workplace in times when 420,000 Austrians are unemployed tome – as a social democrat – means to further weaken the weak.’
The second round of the presidential elections will take place on 22 May, when Hofer and Alexander van der Bellen from the Green party will face each other in a tight runoff.
Faymann’s resignation is being seen as a further sign of how strong the challenge from the FPÖ has now become and of how divided the established parties are over how to tackle its rise.
Those in power think hate looking at a majority White Europe, and they are deliberately bringing in non-White immigrants, and at the same time keeping out American, Canadian, and Australian White immigrants.It’s all to advance their “diversity” agenda. They generally have no problem with non-White countries being full of non-White people. It’s White countries they have a problem with, and their attempts to destroy our countries amounts to a policy of White genocide.