• 23-MAY-2016

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Austria: Relief over Van der Bellen but clear warning for reforms in Europe

Following yesterday´s elections for President in Austria and the victory of Alexander van der Bellen, Gianni Pittella, S&D Group President in the European Parliament, and Evelyn Regner, Head of the Austrian S&D Delegation in the EP, reacted with relief. However, they called for clear lessons to be learnt, both for Austria and the whole of Europe.

Gianni Pittella, S&D Group President, said:

“We very much welcome the outcome of the presidential Austrian election. Congratulations to Mr. Alexander Van der Bellen. It is indeed a sigh of relief to see that the worst fears didn´t come true with the election of an extreme right candidate whose party ideology originates directly from National Socialism. However if we want to be serious we cannot run from facing the worrying reality: One Austrian out of two voted in favour of Norbert Hofer. This is a political earthquake that follows a trend felt in all of Europe: the conservative and social democratic powers are losing support to extreme movements which fan the flames of people´s fear. Without radical reforms based on solidarity, we will be soon forced to hand the keys to our future to the Hofers, Salvinis, Le Pens, and Farages of Europe.” 

This broadcast-quality package contains a B-ROLL interview with S&D President Gianni Pittella (audio EN). Cutaways available.