01:17 GMT01 November 2020
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    Right-wing Austrian Freedom Party leader Norbert Hofer thinks that EU has failed as a political union.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union has failed as a political union and should focus on working closer as an economic organization, member of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria Norbert Hofer told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "The European Union must reflect on its basic values and work closely as an economic union on the basis of subsidiarity… From our point of view the political union has failed," Hofer, who suggested that Austria may hold a UK-style referendum in case the European Union continues to centralize power, stated.

    The Austrian politician, who narrowly missed out on winning the Austrian presidential election last month, suggested that EU member countries should be able to decide on their own which social benefits they want to offer to migrants as well as questions related to agricultural policy.

    "On the other hand, central subjects of security should be better worked out on the European level," the politician, whose official title is the Third President of Austria's National Council, added.

    On Thursday, UK citizens voted by a very slight margin for the country to withdraw from the European Union, contributing to the rising Euroscepticism in the bloc.

    Late last week, after the Brexit results had been announced, the Dutch Party for Freedom pledged to make holding a UK-style referendum one of the key issues in the general election campaign in the Netherlands next March.

    The leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen, also suggested France should hold a similar referendum on its EU membership.

    The leader of Italy's Lega Nord party Matteo Salvini promised his party would start a petition calling for a popular vote on its EU membership, while two Nordic parties — Sweden Democrats and the Danish People’s Party — suggested that their countries' ties should be renegotiated with the European Union or a referendum be held on introducing less binding conditions for EU membership.


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