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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann quits

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Austria, Vienna – Austrian SPÖ (Social Democratic Party of Austria ) Chancellor Werner Faymann quit this Monday 9 May after 8 years in power. He also quit his post as leader of the Social Democratic Party. The current Vice-Chancellor, the conservative Reinhold Mitterlehner (ÖVP) will take the job at the head of the country.

Werner Faymann has been strongly criticised since a few months for his poor management and his short-sightedness about the migrant crisis. He strongly attacked Viktor Orbán’s migratory policy and then changed his mind and followed his lead a few months later. Viktor Orbán met the FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) candidates last fall, and supported them. Since the first round of the presidential elections on April 24, 2016 – the FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer was first with 35.05% of the votes – the former chancellor has been facing pressures in his own party. “This government needs a new start,” Faymann said. “Whoever does not have the backing cannot meet this task.”

The next leader of the SPÖ will be chosen bu next Tuesday and should become chancellor, as the party has the larger part part of the Parliament. During the next round of the presidential elections on May 22, Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) will be facing Alexander Van der Bellen, an independent candidate supported by the Green.