No One Could Have Predicted That (Part 1: Austria)


Angela Merkel’s Summer of Love has claimed its first victim, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

The BBC reports:

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has resigned after losing the support of Social Democratic party colleagues. Mr Faymann came to power in 2008 but has faced criticism within his party since the far right won the first round of presidential elections last month.

Earlier this year, he yielded to pressure from his coalition partner, the conservative People’s Party, to cap the number of people allowed to claim asylum in Austria after the arrival in 2015 of more than 90,000 asylum seekers.

That decision prompted criticism from trade unionists and the SPO’s youth wing who clearly felt that 90,000 wasn’t anywhere near enough to rupture the fabric of Austrian society.

There was further pressure on Mr Faymann after far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer won the first round of the presidential election a fortnight ago. The green candidate was second while Mr Faymann’s Social Democrats and the centre-right People’s Party failed to make it to the run-off vote on 22 May.

To be fair, Mr Faymann seems like a decent man caught between the inflexible ideology of those on the fringes of his own party and the practical reality of mass immigration.

Of course no one could have predicted that the open door immigration policy adopted last summer would lead to right wing parties doing well during elections or the fall of national leaders.

We should consider Mr Faymann the first of many.



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