05:36 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Head of the Freedom Party (FPOe) Heinz-Christian Strache arrives for a news conference in Vienna, Austria

    Austria’s Right-Wing FPO to Enter Coalition Talks With Kurz-Led Conservative OVP

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    The Austrian election that was held on October 15 defined the three leading parties that may form a coalition to govern the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache has announced that he has accepted the invitation by conservative Austrian People's Party (OVP) leader Sebastian Kurz to hold talks on creating a governing coalition.

    “The OVP leader has officially invited us to take part in the coalition talks. We have thoroughly thought about the possible participation in government and decided to accept [the invitation],” Strache said at a press conference which was aired on his Facebook page.

    He pointed out that participating in government is not the party's main goal and a positive result of the talks is not a foregone conclusion.

    Earlier in the day, Kurz expressed hope that the FPO would accept the OVP invitation to launch the coalition talks.

    According to political analysts, the agenda of both the OVP and the FPO was rather similar in the field of migration policy. Thus, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, a member of the OVP, oversaw the implementation of a stricter border control in August and spoke in favor of the prolongation of more rigorous border checks within Europe's visa-free Schengen Area in September. Moreover, such a coalition could result in changes in educational policies, stipulating separate classes for children who do not speak sufficient German or less social benefits for migrants.

    The Austrian snap parliamentary election was held on October 15. According to the results, the OVP received 31.5 percent of the vote, while the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) came in second with 26.9 percent of the vote. The FPO ranked third, winning 26 percent of votes.


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    Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Austrian People's Party (OVP), Heinz-Christian Strache, Sebastian Kurz, Austria
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