Austria far-right and left revel in happy regional union


EISENSTADT, Austria: Campaigners for Austria’s Greens-backed presidential candidate Alexander Van der Bellen are having a hard time in Burgenland state, where the far-right has carved out a cosy alliance with the Social Democrats, one of the country’s two main parties. The SPOe, which grew out of a Marxist worker’s movement and remains close to the unions, broke a major taboo last year by entering into a coalition with the populist Freedom Party (FPOe). As a result, the FPOe’s presidential poster boy Norbert Hofer is expected to easily beat his rival on December 4 in the eastern region, on Hungary’s border. The 45-year-old scored over 60 percent in Burgenland in the first run-off in May, which was annulled over procedural irregularities.



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