Austria: Faymann quits as chancellor following far right’s election victory | The Guardian

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-immigration views and and fears of Islamisation, 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.

Full Article: Faymann quits as Austrian chancellor following far right's election victory | World news | The Guardian.

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