Austrian far right to return to coalition under conservative Sebastian Kurz

Austrian Foreign Minister and the leader of the Austrian Peoples Party (OeVP), Sebastian Kurz leaves the presidential office of the Hofburg Palace Image copyright EPA

Austria’s conservative People’s Party has agreed a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party.

The deal comes two months after a parliamentary election which the People’s Party won but without an overall majority.

At just 31, the People’s Party’s Sebastian Kurz is set to become Europe’s youngest head of government.

If the coalition is ratified, Austria would become the only western European state with a governing far-right party.

The parties previously governed the central European country together between 2000 and 2005.

A 15 October election in Austria failed to yield a conclusive result.

Kurz and charisma: What propels young leaders to power?

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

Last week, the parties announced that plans for a total ban on smoking in Austria’s bars and restaurants was to be scrapped.

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