04:06 GMT18 May 2021
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    Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) strongly opposes the idea of holding a referendum on Austrian membership of the European Union, Party Secretary Georg Niedermuhlbichler told Sputnik on Thursday, adding that leaving the bloc would have a dramatically negative effect on the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in June, Norbert Hofer, who narrowly failed to become first far-right head of state in last month’s presidential run-off in Austria, said that his country could hold a referendum on EU membership within a year if the bloc failed to focus on its major role and continued its "centralization" course.

    "Leaving the EU would have disastrous consequences for the economy, the country and the people. This is why SPÖ strongly opposes holding a referendum," Niedermuhlbichler said.

    On Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern ruled out calling a referendum on EU membership after the second day of the European Council talks in Brussels.

    An opinion poll, revealed on Wednesday by the market research firm Meinungsraum, showed that the Austrian nation was split on the issue of EU membership, with 51 percent saying Austria should remain in the European Union and 49 percent wanting to quit.

    On June 23, the United Kingdom held a referendum to determine whether or not the country should leave the European Union. According to the final results, 51.9 percent of voters, or 17.4 million people, decided to support Brexit, while about 16.1 million opposed it. The vote triggered discussion is several other EU member states on possibility of holding similar votes.


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