Nobody likes Sebastian Kurz. And he loves who he wants. The moral compass of the barely 31-year-old chancellor of Austria in the European people’s Party becoming the marsrichting. “It goes in small steps the wrong way, that feeling you have now.’
Saturday outlines dS Weekly the portrait of Sebastian Kurz, the supernova of right Europe. Below you can read a preview.
Sebastian Kurz is still only 31 years old. When the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl exploded, the Red Devils created a furor at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS in Mexico, and Jean-Claude Juncker on his fourth year in the Luxembourg government started, was the Austrian chancellor yet to be born.
And yet there is already one important lesson to be gleaned from his political career. A lesson that his European opponents, but better in the ears knots. Underestimated Sebastian Kurz never. Seven years ago, upon assuming office as secretary of state for Integration, did the Austrian press is exactly that. She made the young man to the ground. She called him a ‘profileringsneuroticus’. His promotion was an ‘insult to everyone who has something to integration, specify”. But Kurz was not against the canvas. On the contrary, three years later, he was barely at the age of 27, minister of Foreign Affairs.
Last year he performed an even more impressive trick. On the cunning way he took the leadership of his party. When Reinhold Mitterlehner threw in the towel as chairman, looked at everyone to Sebastian Kurz. That said not just yes. He let us know that he is the austrian Österreichische Volkspartei, an organization with a long tradition, only wanted to argue when he the slate itself should build. He also claimed that the ÖVP as Liste Sebastian Kurz to the elections and won. Nevertheless, sided with a party congress, with more than 98 percent behind the very young messiah. In clean Vienna: behind the Wunderwuzzi. Half a year later, he won Kurz signed-off elections. Then he chancellor, with the far-right FPÖ in a government stepped in and all seated ÖVP-ministers thanked for services rendered.
“He broke with all the traditions,” says Elisabeth Köstinger (39) on her cabinet in the centre of Vienna. Köstinger it attracts all years, with Sebastian Kurz and belongs – her words – into his circle of trust. Since six months she is Austrian minister of the Environment. Her desk is as tightly structured as that of her chancellor. ‘For the first time awards the ÖVP not a single minister from lower austria, the main land. That was, until recently, unthinkable. And even more: this broke no rebellion. The old ÖVP was her credibility completely kwijtgespeeld. No one knew where the party was. There we were in the circle around Sebastian long been pondering. Our conclusion was clear: gone are the endless overlegoverganen. Schluss damit. When there last year, a possibility entered the picture, Sebastian is sure gone. Once he has made a decision, he is not easily moved away.’
The rise in the EPP
Europe Sebastian Kurz in the coming six months is plenty to know. From 1 July the rotating presidency of the European Council in his hands. Kurz leave you in no doubt about his priority: a further afgrendeling of the European external borders. In the Financial Times leaked this week, a working document of the minister of the Interior. Herbert Kickl, a FPÖ’there is of the hard type, sticking out his vision not away: “The problems in the area of integration and security are likely in the coming decades, a significant increase.’ Kickl suggests that refugees are only entitled to claim asylum when they have submitted an application before they set foot on European soil. It is not the only radical proposal from the Austrian angle. Earlier, it was Kurz himself already with the idea to come to a refugee camp for rejected asylum seekers to open outside the EU, on a not too pleasant place.
For Kurz, this is rotating EU-presidency is not valued. He traveled the last few weeks tirelessly the continent. He believes that Austria can play an important role. Substantively, he has over the past years have dropped everything to Willkommenskultur smells. He practiced more criticism from Angela Merkel on Viktor Orbán. Last week he travelled to Budapest for a meeting with the four Visegrád-countries. That gave cheerful images: his view on migration is similar to that of Hungary, Poland, the Czech republic or Slovakia. He also wants to not waste time on spreidingsplannen.
But at the same time morrelt Kurz not to the rule of law and uses he is not the turbotaal of Orbán. So he, in contrast to the Hungarian prime minister, not in the verdomhoekje. He can now even say his views, ” mehrheitsfähig’ in Europe.
‘Merkel put the lines out, but it is clear that Kurz is more and more out in the European people’s Party’, confirms Ivo Belet. The CD&V-Mep saw him a few weeks ago to work on the annual fractiedagen of the EPP, in Munich. There were two guests of honour: first Merkel, one day later, Kurz. ‘His ideas, which, incidentally, is not mine, have the mainstream reach. They are for example acquired by Donald Tusk. Kurz is almost obsessed by the control of the borders. But in Munich, I can’t catch something that goes against international treaties. He set there, especially in the market as the man for the line to Orbán open, without of the EU.’
In dS Weekblad read Saturday the full portrait of chancellor Kurz. Philipp Blom: ‘As Kurz on migratievlak calls for an “axis of welwillenden” between Berlin, Vienna and Rome, we are still in the wrong decade of the last century?’