Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early Monday evening spoke to Austrian Chancellor-elect Sebastian Kurz and congratulated him on his election victory.
Netanyahu said that Austria had done much in recent years to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to fight against anti-Semitism. The Chancellor-elect, soon to be the youngest head of state in Europe, thanked the Prime Minister, adding that he was interested in developing the friendship and links with Israel.
Netanyahu also raised the issue of Iranian aggression and invited Chancellor-elect Kurz to visit Israel. The latter responded positively and said that he would be happy to visit soon.
Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party, which won the largest percentage of the votes (31.4%) in Sunday’s national elections is Christian democratic and conservative. It is popular mainly amongst white-collar workers, business owners, and farmers. It advocates economic liberalization, the reduction of Austria’s public sector, welfare reform, and deregulation.
Should Kurz form a right-wing coalition with the Freedom Party, Austria would join Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Poland’s Law and Justice government in pursuing tough policies on borders, refugees and migration.