Politics in Austria – level 3

21-12-2017 07:00

People swore in thirty-one-year-old Sebastian Kurz as Austria’s chancellor, making him the youngest European leader.

His People’s Party has gone into coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which the Nazis founded in the 1950s, but the Freedom Party denies holding those beliefs today. The Freedom Party politicians will head the Interior, Defence, and Foreign ministries.

Outside the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, where the swearing-in took place, 6,000 protesters marched and chanted, ‘Shame on you, Sebastian’. One protester said the one problem was the normalisation of right-wing extremism, and the other problem was losing hard-fought social rights. She said that, ‘This was not just foreigners against the natives but also the poor against the rich’.

The new government says that it will create stricter asylum rules and keep Austria in the EU.

Difficult words: swear in (officially become a chancellor), chancellor (the head of the government in Germany and Austria), chant (rhythmically and repeatedly say), asylum rules (the rules on who can enter the country).

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