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Yearbook 2017

Austria. During the year, Austria got Europe's youngest head of government in 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, when his People's Party (VP) won the new election in October. The conservative and Christian democratic VP received 31.6% of the vote, the Social Democratic SP 26.9% and the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FP) 26%. According to, the Greens ended up out of Parliament with just 3.9% of the vote.

2017 Austria

It was in May that the newly elected leader of the VP, as well as the country's foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz agreed with the Chancellor of the Interior and the SP leader Christian Kern to announce new elections this fall. This since the VP-SP coalition has burst.

After the election, the newly elected Chancellor Kurz looked far to the right and, at the end of October, invited anti-xenophobic FP and its leader Hans-Christian Strache to talks about a possible government coalition. The Chancellor promised that a functioning government would be in place within two months. In December, Sebastian Kurz and his conservative VP then formed a coalition government together with the right-wing populists FP. Both parties joined, among other things. to elections for a tighter migration policy and less EU influence. The new government got several FP representatives on important posts: Herbert Kickl became Minister of the Interior, Mario Kunasek Minister of Defense and Karin Kneissl Foreign Minister and party leader Heinz-Christian Strache who became Vice Chancellor.

In June, the trial started against eleven men charged with murder, torture and smuggling. They are responsible for the tragic incident in August 2015 when 71 refugees were found dead in an abandoned truck on a motorway in Austria near the Hungary border. The trial is taking place in Hungary, where four of the men are charged with murder, torture and smuggling, the other seven for torture and smuggling.

There has been a ban on a comprehensive veil in Austria since 1 October. It got a man who participated in an advertising campaign dressed up for shark experience. He was fined by the police a week after the ban was introduced, after refusing to remove the shark mask with the motivation "I just do my job".

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