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News from Austria

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:51 pm

Nazis who killed hundreds of disabled children in Vienna kept their jobs, report shows.

Grave-site of euthanasia child' victims from the Spiegelgrund clinic.

Almost all the staff at a notorious Vienna clinic where the Nazis killed hundreds of disabled children kept their jobs after 1945 and subjected other inmates to abuse and neglect.

A report from Austrian authorities said 600-700 children and youths were kept at "Pavilion 15" under a "comprehensive system of violence" between the end of World War II and the early 1980s.

The report, based on interviews with former patients and staff, said that an "inadequate employment and ideological break with the Nazi period contributed to these inhumane conditions".

Staff, most of whom were inadequately qualified, made "heavy" use of drugs to sedate the children and put them in caged beds and straightjackets.

And at least 70 died at the facility, now closed, around 80 percent of them from lung infections brought on by the harsh treatment and undernourishment, the report said.

"Conditions like this for the treatment of handicapped people... were a long away from professional standards of practice at the time," said Hemma Mayrhofer, one of the report's authors.

The site in the Austrian capital was part of the Am Spiegelgrund clinic where the Nazis murdered almost 800 children, subjecting them to pseudo-scientific experiments or gassing them.

Their remains were used for years after the war for scientific purposes.

Shockingly, the new report said that after the war, the brains of children who died there were given to Heinrich Gross, a senior Nazi doctor who conducted some of those deadly experiments.

Gross (1915-2005), who went on trial but was never convicted and enjoyed a flourishing career after the war, was therefore able to continue research he had begun before 1945, the report said.


Last edited by Lamplighter on Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:02 pm

For sale: Last Austrian emperor's bedroom.


Happier times. Seven years before giving away his bedroom, Charles I married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma in Schwarzau Palace.

Imperial dreams are dark, lavish and now available online. The bedroom of Austria's last emperor Charles I is up for sale on a second-hand furniture website for the regal sum of €125,000 ($130,000).

"Bedroom seeks new home. Terrific antique, absolute rarity from Charles the last emperor of Austria," reads the private ad posted on the popular Willhaben.at website by a woman who inherited the pieces.

The items include a 2.2-metre (7.2-foot) long bed, two night tables and two cupboards, all made of dark heavy wood and featuring marquetry of Austrian castles.

The bedroom suite was part of Villa Wartholz, one of the residences used by Charles I and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

The couple were the last monarchs of the Habsburg empire, which collapsed at the end of World War I.

Charles, the grandson of emperor Franz Joseph, offered his bedroom furniture as payment to his personal physician before fleeing into exile in 1918, according to the vendor.

The Imperial Furniture Collection (IFC) in Vienna, a key authority on Habsburg antiques, confirmed the bedroom's authenticity.

"We were offered the purchase but the price is way too high," IFC expert Ilsebill Balta told AFP, adding that the pieces needed restoring.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:52 pm

I wish I could say I am shocked by the nazi staff story, LL, but sadly, I am not - a horrifying number of 'civil service' nazis managed to hang onto their jobs after the war.

The bedroom sounds wonderful, who wouldn't want a 7' bed? Where to put it, though......

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:14 pm

How sickening it was to read that about the poor children.  

The bed?  it might give you the chance, at last,to sleep unhindered by the dogs as there would be plenty of room for all of you?  roflrofl
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:25 pm

Yes!

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:22 pm

Nato implores Austria and Turkey to kiss and make up.

Nato urged Turkey and Austria Wednesday to settle a dispute over Ankara's EU membership bid, which has led Turkey to block cooperation with the alliance's partner countries.

Confirming press reports, a Nato official said: "We regret the current situation and the impact it is having on all of our cooperation programmes with partners."

"Nato supports constructive dialogue between countries. We count on our ally Turkey and our partner Austria to solve their bilateral issue swiftly," the official said.

Austrian Defence Ministry spokesman Stefan Hirsch confirmed to AFP that the "Turkish blockade of Austria's partner programmes with Nato began several months ago".

"It has no immediate impact on our missions in the western Balkans. But in the mid- to long-term, the blockade can lead to problems because it can hinder our ability to prepare new missions," he said.

Turkish action has effectively blocked all of Nato's various cooperation programmes with non-member states.

These programmes cover most of Europe, plus many countries in the Middle East and Asia, and are aimed at building up inter-operability, capacity and goodwill.

They do not involve the Nato collective defence commitment for member states but are seen as an important political signal, for example in partner countries such as Georgia and Ukraine locked in bitter disputes with Soviet-era master Russia.

Diplomatic talks with Ankara were ongoing and that Austria, as one of the biggest providers of troops in Kosovo, was counting on Nato to help find  a solution.

Turkey restarted European Union accession talks in 2005 but they have made painfully slow progress amid growing questions in Brussels over its human rights record.

Relations have soured badly since a failed military coup in July against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who embarked on a widespread crackdown in response and is now seeking increased powers in a referendum next month.

Austria, a member of the European Union but only a so-called partner country for Nato, has repeatedly called for the EU accession talks to be frozen.

The EU in December said it would open no new areas in the talks, but Austria refused to sign the statement because it wanted all current negotiations to be completely halted.

Press reports said Turkey, the second largest military power in Nato after the United States, had retaliated by suspending cooperation with the partner countries of the alliance.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:41 pm

Are NATO grasping that there is no point in 'kissing and making up' with Erdogan? That he will simply see it as a sign of weakness and exploit it to do even worse next time?

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:01 pm

Austrian venue cancels 'political' Turkish music concert.

The venue for a Turkish music concert in Austria cancelled the event on Thursday over its apparent "political" nature, amid an escalating row between Turkey and the EU.

Innsbruck's Olympic Hall said it took the decision on the basis of "information about the organization of the event (on Saturday) and about the performing artists Osman Oztunc and Gokhan Tekin".

Guenther Platter, premier of Tyrol state in western Austria, said that the musicians "clearly belong to the Turkish nationalist and far-right scene and are close to the Grey Wolves".

The Grey Wolves are the radical wing of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The ultra-nationalist MHP is the main ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in pushing through constitutional changes to create a strong presidential system.

Turks will vote on these changes in a referendum on April 16th. Critics say they will give Erdogan too much power.

Germany, the Netherlands and other EU states have blocked Turkish officials from holding campaign rallies for the referendum, drawing an irate response from Ankara.

Four events in Austria by an AKP politician and a former minister were cancelled last weekend.

Some 360,000 people of Turkish origin call Austria home, including 117,00 Turkish citizens.

Platter said that he would "not allow the polarizing Turkish referendum campaign to be imported into Tyrol".
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:27 pm

The Grey Wolves are the radical wing of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

There is, IMO, NO place in Europe for anything involving the Grey Wolves.



They really are islamofascists.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:06 pm

Oh FFS! mad
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:55 am

Swiss mountain guide investigated over deadly Austrian avalanche.

The mountain guide who was leading a group of Swiss ski tourers hit by an avalanche in the Austrian Tyrol last week is being investigated for homicide through negligence.
The Innsbruck public prosecutor has opened criminal proceedings against the guide, a spokesperson told Austrian news agency APA.

Four people died when the 700m long avalanche struck the group of eight on the Jochgrub mountain above Schmirn in the Tyrol on March 15th.

Four others, including the Swiss guide, survived and raised the alarm.

However the victims were covered by a huge wall of snow. It took five hours to find the body of one victim since he was buried 12 metres deep.

At the time the head of the Tyrol avalanche service Rudi Mair said it was likely the group had triggered the avalanche themselves.

Speaking to APA this week, he said the area in which the group were skiing was very steep and north-facing, meaning it was prone to avalanches. It was “not a good choice” for ski tourers, he said.

The victims, aged 52 to 75, were from the canton of Aargau and were on a week’s ski tour break in the Tyrol.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Funeral halted after corpse mix-up.

The grieving family just wanted to see the body one last time before his cremation. But peeking into the coffin for the final farewell they got a shock: it was someone else.

The 90-year-old had in fact been buried three days earlier in someone else's grave, the embarrassed firm of undertakers in the southern town of Weiz admitted on Tuesday.

And inside the coffin ready to be given up to the flames was an 86-year-old man whose family thought they had already said their final goodbye to days before.

Andreas Adlmann from funeral directors Koller-Adlmann told the Kleine-Zeitung daily that an employee "had not taken proper notice of the toe tags".

"This was a human error that should never have happened," he said.

In future a record will be made for every cadaver that will be signed by two people, he promised.

As the family of the 90-year-old waited at the crematorium, his coffin was quickly dug up, cleaned up and brought over.

And the 86-year-old was buried where he should have been, as a priest looked on and gave the necessary consecration.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:31 pm

Oh my God, how awful for the families!

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:49 pm

Austria will double the amount it pays refugees who volunteer to leave.

Austria said on Wednesday it would double the amount of money paid to migrants who voluntarily return home, as part of a campaign to speed up the repatriation of around 50,000 asylum seekers.

They would be offered 1,000 euros ($1,080) instead of 500 euros, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said.

The scheme, run in collaboration with pro-refugee groups, is primarily aimed at "those who are not likely to be granted the right to long-term residence", he told a press conference in Vienna.

Austria, a nation of 8.7 million people, has received more than 130,000 asylum applications since 2015 following the onset of the European Union's worst migration crisis since World War II.

Of the new arrivals, about 10,700 left Austria again last year, including 5,800 by choice, according to official data.

"The advantage of voluntary returns is that they are less traumatic," said Bernd Wachter of Caritas Austria, the Catholic Church's humanitarian organisation which works closely with refugees.

"They allow you to better organise the reintegration in the country of origin," he said.

However, the payment offer is currently only available to the first 1,000 people who register their interest and who have already filed an asylum application.

It is primarily aimed at nationals from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and sub-Saharan countries, but excludes people from neighbouring Balkan states.

The record number of arrivals in Austria -- one of the highest per capita in Europe -- fuelled anti-immigration sentiment and gave a boost to the far-right.

In response, the ruling centrist coalition announced plans in January to beef up surveillance and security measures, ban full-face veils in public and oblige migrants to sign an "integration contract".

The government has also capped asylum applications at 35,000 for 2017.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:46 pm

Attacks on migrant homes double in Austria.

Austria recorded a sharp rise in attacks against migrant shelters last year, with 49 cases that mostly went unsolved compared to 25 in 2015, authorities said Friday.

The incidents, revealed in a response by the interior ministry to a parliamentary enquiry, ranged from racist graffiti to arson, stones being thrown through windows and gas pipes being slashed.

According to opposition lawmaker Albert Steinhauser who made the enquiry, 44 of the incidents that were clearly motivated by hatred.

Steinhauser told the Austria Press Agency (APA) that in 77 percent of the cases, police had not managed to track down the culprits.

"The most important thing is for the interior ministry to take these incidents seriously and make every necessary effort to investigate," he said.

He said that no one wanted a situation like in neighbouring Germany -- where the population is around 10 times larger -- which reported almost 900 such cases in 2016.

Austria, a nation of 8.7 million people, has received more than 130,000 asylum applications since 2015 following the onset of the European Union's biggest migration crisis since World War II.

The opposition far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) has stoked concerns about the influx to boost support, with its candidate Norbert Hofer coming close to being elected president last year.

The ruling centrist coalition has taken a harder line, announcing plans to beef up surveillance, ban full-face veils in public and oblige migrants to sign an "integration contract".

It has also stepped up deportations of migrants whose asylum claims are rejected, recently offering €1,000 ($1,069) to the first 1,000 people to volunteer for repatriation.

Chancellor Christian Kern also wrote to Brussels this week looking for Austria to be exempted from an EU scheme to take in migrants relocated from hotspots Italy and Greece.

Recent studies have also shown a sharp rise in online hate speech, directed predominantly at Muslims, and suggested that Austrians' attitudes toward immigration have hardened.

The interior ministry said there were also 49 incidents carried out by migrants themselves at the shelters including violence, death threats, stalking and vandalism. No comparison figures from prior years were released.

"We have to look closely at what the causes are. We strongly suspect that trauma, experiences of war and extreme violence play a role," Steinhauser said, calling for better psychiatric care.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:18 pm


"We have to look closely at what the causes are. We strongly suspect that trauma, experiences of war and extreme violence play a role,"

Not importing aggressive young men with a belief system from the Dark Ages into a civilised, cultured nation, then?

I don't recall Vietnamese refugees, or others, behaving like this. when they had to flee their own countries.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  lily on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:30 pm

Shocking behavior!
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:43 pm

The only other 'refugees' I can think of that have behaved like this were the residents of Cuban mental asylums and jailbirds that Castro dumped on the US in the Mariel boatlift.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:43 am

Austria arrests 26 leaders of a group that rejects the country's laws.

Austrian police arrested 26 people on Thursday in nationwide raids targeting what the government said is a growing and potentially dangerous problem of people refusing to recognise the state's authority.

Those detained in dawn operations involving 454 police officers were allegedly leading members of an organisation that rejects Austrian law and has set up its own illegal "state", the government said.

Prosecutors believed they planned to "arrest" people including mayors, judges and bank employees and try them in their own "courts". They are also accused of defrauding members of their organisation.

"These so-called state rejectionists are seeing massive growth in support and in particular the readiness to commit violence is rising enormously," Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter said in a statement.

According to press reports the organisation in question, the Staatenbund Österreich ("The Austrian federation of states"), has around 1,000 members.

Once a fee has been paid, new members are told they no longer have to obey Austrian law or pay taxes. It also issues its own "official" documents and even car licence plates.

It is similar to "sovereign citizen" movements elsewhere including "Freemen", the "One People Public Trust" and "Reichsbürger" ("Citizens of the Reich") in Germany, some of whom are thought to be neo-Nazis.

Two Reichsbürger are accused of opening fire on German police in separate incidents last year, in one case killing a German officer.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:35 am

We've got a mob like that here, LL. They've convinced themselves that 'the people of Scotland are sovereign', and that they don't have to follow 'English' laws. They, too, are a complete pain in the neck.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:51 pm

Linz puts Hitler's gift back on display in 'active effort at remembrance'.

The Austrian city of Linz, where Adolf Hitler spent several years as a teenager, will once again display an Aphrodite sculpture offered by the Führer after keeping it in storage for years.

The bronze work by the Nazi sculptor Wilhelm Wandschneider was brought to Linz in 1942 as a "personal gift" from Hitler, who wanted to make the city the "cultural capital" of the Third Reich.

For 65 years it stood in the rotunda of a park overlooking the city, where the German dictator lived between 10 and 18 years old.

But it was quickly removed in 2008 after a group of art students revealed its unsavoury origins.

Linz's Nordico museum, which had stored the work, will now add it to its collections, Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, who heads the city's culture and tourism committee, said Tuesday.

A detailed explanation will accompany the Aphrodite, she said, adding that the city wanted to make an "active effort at remembrance" rather than "dismantle history".

Lang-Mayerhofer, a conservative ÖVP lawmaker, said the decision garnered unanimous support of parties represented on the city council, as well as the backing of the federal chancellery.

The Greens backed the museum option since it would keep the statue from becoming a beacon for neo-Nazi pilgrimages, while the far-right FPÖ said it would protect the work from "political vandalism".

Despite Linz's relative insignificance for Nazi Germany, Hitler named it one of his "Führer cities" alongside Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Nuremburg.

Linz had organised in 2008 an exposition delving into this cumbersome heritage.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri May 12, 2017 8:44 am

Austria pushes EU to make it easier to extend border checks.

Austrian ministers said on Thursday that they want to change the rules governing Europe's passport-free Schengen zone so they can extend border controls that expire later this year.

The comments came after Brussels on Tuesday said that checks introduced at the height of the 2015 migrant crisis by Austria and four other countries must end by November.

"If the European Commission is now saying that another extension of the national border controls beyond November is not possible because of legal reasons, then we need jointly to adapt the law to ensure that additional controls are necessary," Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told the Austria Press Agency.

"If border controls are necessary because the number of illegal migrants rises again then we shouldn't hide behind bureaucratic rules but make border controls possible," Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz added on Oe1 public radio.

Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and non-EU Norway introduced the checks in 2015 and have extended them several times. But Brussels said a six-month extension from mid-May must be the final one.

Sweden said on Tuesday it was suspending systematic checks on its border with Denmark.

A migrant deal between the European Union and Turkey has dramatically slowed the influx, although tens of thousands of people have attempted the treacherous sea journey between Libya and Italy so far this year.

Doskozil said that 9,700 migrants have entered Austria this year, 6,600 of them applying for asylum.
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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Fri May 12, 2017 4:04 pm

Is Austria heading for a snap election?

Austria's squabbling centrist coalition looked increasingly on the brink Friday as Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz made clear he would pull his centre-right People's Party (ÖVP) out of the government if he becomes its new chief.

The 30-year-old rising political star is tipped to take over the ÖVP following Wednesday's shock resignation of current boss Reinhold Mitterlehner after months of internal power struggles.

If Kurz's party pulled out of the government, the snap parliamentary elections that might result could herald the return to power of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), which is riding high in opinion polls.

"I think early elections are the right way," Kurz said.

"There's an offer on the table for me to continue in the current government, swap a few heads and act as if nothing had happened," he told a press conference in Vienna.

"But I think we'd end up in the same situation we've been stuck in for a long time. Small compromises would be struck which wouldn't lead to any changes."

Deep rifts have been plaguing the "grand coalition" between the ÖVP and the Social Democrats (SPÖ) led by Chancellor Christian Kern, spurring speculation that the unhappy union will dissolve long before the next scheduled vote in autumn 2018.

Like other centrist factions in Europe, the SPÖ and ÖVP have suffered the wrath of disgruntled voters over rising unemployment and an influx of migrants.

The parties, which have dominated Austrian politics since 1945, were dealt a disastrous blow in the 2016 presidential ballot when both their candidates were booted out in the first round.

Instead the race pitted the FPÖ's Norbert Hofer against ex-Green party chief Alexander Van der Bellen, who ended up winning the drawn-out, scandal-plagued contest.

Austrian media have described the hugely popular Kurz as a "messiah" who could boost his party's dented image and help fend off the far right.

Recent opinion polls indicate that the ÖVP is lagging behind the SPÖ and the FPÖ, which are neck-and-neck. Analysts say Kurz's nomination could reshuffle the cards.

Either way, new elections are likely to raise the thorny prospect of a power-sharing cabinet that includes far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

Back in 2000, more than 150,000 people marched in Vienna against the FPÖ -- then headed by the SS-admiring Jörg Haider -- after it entered a coalition with the ÖVP.

But observers note that the far right's return may not trigger the same backlash now, with populist parties gaining ground across the continent.

So far neither of Austria's main parties has openly excluded the possibility of governing alongside the FPÖ, which has welcomed Kurz's call for early elections.

Analysts say that a snap election could happen as early as September.

Kern, who became chancellor just a year ago, has repeatedly insisted he does not want an early vote.

"I don't see a single problem that would be solved with snap elections," he said on Thursday.

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Re: News from Austria

Post  bb1 on Fri May 12, 2017 4:23 pm

Another snap election! Oh, what joy!

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Re: News from Austria

Post  Lamplighter on Wed May 17, 2017 9:06 pm

Austria sets a date for its snap election.

Austria's snap election will be on October 15th, party chiefs agreed on Tuesday after the centrist coalition collapsed, the Austria Press Agency reported.

The vote could see the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), whose candidate narrowly failed to be elected president in December, enter government.

The coalition between Chancellor Christian Kern's Social Democrats (SPOe) and the People's Party (OeVP) was meant to govern until 2018.

But after months of bickering, the centre-right OeVP on Sunday appointed a new chief, Sebastian Kurz, who called for early elections.

The anti-immigration FPOe, like other populist parties in Europe, has seen its support rise on the back of concerns about immigration, terrorism and falling living standards.

And like elsewhere, Austria's two main parties, which have governed the EU country since 1945, have seen their support slide as they fail to connect with voters.

The FPOe, led by social media-savvy Heinz-Christian Strache, 47, is running neck-and-neck with the SPOe on around 30 percent in opinion polls.

The OeVP is lagging behind in the low 20s. However, surveys suggest that Kurz, who is only 30, could revive his party's fortunes and even make it the most popular force.

Austria's parties will likely on Wednesday present a motion for setting the election date, the Austria Press Agency reported said. It was unclear when this will pass, however.


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Re: News from Austria

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