Austria: Far-right joins coalition led by PM Sebastian Kurz

Austria’s president has approved a coalition government between the conservative People’s Party and the far-right Freedom Party.

The deal will make Austria the only Western European state with a governing far-right party, which is opposed to migration and the European Union. The parties previously governed the country together between 2000 and 2005.

But at just 31, the People’s Party’s Sebastian Kurz is set to become the world’s youngest head of government. No details have been given about the government’s programme, but several important ministerial roles are expected to be handed to the smaller Freedom Party as part of the deal.

President Alexander Van der Bellen gave the green light to the deal on Saturday morning. He said the new government had assured him of both a pro-EU stance and a continued commitment to the European convention on human rights.

The election on 15 October failed to yield a conclusive result.

The campaign was dominated by Europe’s migration crisis, something the anti-immigration Freedom Party has long campaigned about.

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