Populists Scoring Important Victory in Austria Urges You To Hold Gold

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Last Updated on: 16th October 2017, 09:31 am

Photo Courtesy of the Boston Herald

The world's youngest leader just got elected in Austria, and the major news flash is that his favored policies are not so friendly to the European Union. This weekend's watershed moment in Austrian politics also ushered in the far- right Freedom Party as the second biggest party in Parliament and most likely coalition partner for the young Christian Kurz.

Kurz Photo Courtesy of CNBC/Getty Images

As ecstatic congratulations poured into Austria from the far-right populist parties based throughout Europe, ranging from Marine Le Pen to Geert Wilders, you have to consider the ramifications of what the traditionally centrist Austrians' vote means. The now-firmly discredited notion that populism is dead and buried in Europe which the Brussels bureaucrats had been espousing has been laid to rest once and for all. The Austrian results amounted to a sound slap in the face to Germany's Angela Merkel and France's (ever increasingly unpopular at home) Emmanuel Macron.

Gold is what you need in these destabilizing geopolitical days for the EU and whole world. It is the one historically proven asset class (along with other IRA-approved metals like IRA-approved platinum, palladium, and silver) that can protect your investment and retirement portfolios from the potentially stock and bond market upending news that seems to pour in from around the world on a consistent basis anymore. Now than ever, such news as this reminds you of why gold makes sense in an IRA.

Victory for Christian Kurz Equally A Win for the Far-Right Populist Freedom Party

This huge victory for the People's Party which Kurz leads was more notable for being an enormous win for the nationalist Freedom Party that has not been in government in Austria since 2005. It represented a shocking hard move to the political right for the long-time stably and predictably centrist country.

The nation is now all the more likely to be a thorn in the side of the major old guard Western European EU powers of France and Germany. The victory of Christian Kurz was achieved through concentrating on the voter angst over Islam and immigration.

With nearly all results in, the projections gave the People's Party 31.4 percent of the total vote with the Freedom Party taking 27.4 percent and the present governing party Social Democratic Party of Austria garnering 26.7 percent in a historically poor showing for the center of the political spectrum in Austria. In fact the reason Kurz did so well in the poll was that he outmaneuvered the Freedom party by showcasing an even tougher stance on immigration into Austria.

The soon to be youngest world leader and his party's victory is only their second defeat of the Social Democrats since the conclusion of the Second World War, making it a “historic victory” in the words of Christian Kurz:

“Today is not the day of triumph over others, but today is our chance for real change in this country.”

No doubt these words made Merkel shudder and Macron cringe as they received the news in their own countries which recently showed uncomfortably large minorities voted for the far-right parties. It was a clear and decisive backhand to the neo-liberal EU-friendly order.

Yet Kurz has the mandate now to form the new government, and his soon to be coalition partners the Freedom Party campaigned aggressively on Austria's needs to rapidly deport rejected asylum applicants, instill permanently harsher immigration controls, and crack down hard on radical Islam in Austria.

Freedom Party's Stunning Return to Government Heralds Major Changes in Austrian EU Policies

The results of this groundbreaking election reveal that the voters have turned soundly against the muddled EU policies on immigration championed especially by Germany's Chancellor Merkel. This does not necessarily mean that Austria will roll out an EU referendum as happened in Britain and appears increasingly likely in Italy next year though.

Political Consultant Thomas Hofer of Vienna, Austria informed that:

“There won't be a debate to leave the EU, but the Freedom Party is strong enough to demand significant concessions” and could lead Austria into a closer alignment with the other Eastern European nations that are challenging Merkel on such issues as migration and closer EU integration. “Austria has mostly been an ally of Germany for decades, but that picture could change more often now.”

It appears that the populists are not so defeated as the Brussels bureaucrats would have the world believe. They may have managed to shut out the far-right this calendar year in France, the Netherlands, and Germany, but Austria's new coalition government promises to be a “partnership of equals” with them.

What makes the vote result so historical is that the two main parties in Austria, the Social Democrats and People's Party, have together governed in coalitions 44 years out of the 72 since the end of the Second World War.

Map Courtesy of Youtube

Politically there are likely to be some tough and heated debates with the Western EU powers, yet Kurz' party does generally agree with the now-ousted Social Democrats in their pro-business government policies. They have pledged to eliminate corporate taxation on retained profits and to support continued fiscal austerity for the Eurozone.

The areas where Germany's Merkel and France's Macron can expect fierce resistance are in their newly pushed proposals to deepen and broaden integration in Europe and especially the Eurozone of which Austria is a key member. The new Austrian government is also likely to resist punishing the Eastern European member states who have clamped down on democratic and press freedoms and on keeping the hard line sanctions on Russia economically.

The incoming governing forces will also seek to toughen up the EU's policies on Turkey. Though the Freedom Party junior coalition partner may not care for the EU, the lead People's Party is still in favor of it, as are also a slight majority of Austrian's, which this poll result below demonstrates:

While it is true that in theory the People's Party could also opt to forge a governing coalition with the third place and now oustered Social Democrat Party, this is unlikely since Kurz was responsible for early elections being triggered in the first place when he withdrew from the coalition government his party was in (alongside the Social Democrats) only this year.

Besides that, there is this philosophy consistently espoused by Kurz not only over the weekend but also while on the campaign trail this year:

“This is a strong mandate for us to bring about change in this country. It's about establishing a new political style, a new culture.”

That does not sound like he is even considering establishing a governing coalition of more of the same old tired policies which the Austrian people just soundly rejected.

How This Election Result Happened and What It Means For You

The concern that erupted into anger in Austria over the rising tide of immigration started back in 2015. That year nearly 70,000 Muslim refugees poured into the country looking to stay and hailing from such faraway places as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The Austrian hospital and school systems have since been buckling under the strain of finding places for the mostly unwelcome immigrants. Disagreements broke out quickly over whether immigrants deserved overly generous welfare support which the system allows both native Austrians and immigrants alike.

The one-time leader of the anti-EU and immigration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) Frauke Petry remembered his party's inspiration from the Austrian Freedom Party with his congratulations he posted on Twitter. Meanwhile the World Jewish Congress leader Ronald Lauder opined that this Freedom Party is “full of xenophobes and racists” with :

“It is sad and distressing that such a platform should receive more than a quarter of the vote and become the country's second party. My only hope is that they won't end up in government.”

Such wishful and unrealistic thinking should not be your hope though. Review the top five gold coins for investors and pick out your IRA-approved gold now while you still can. It won't be much longer till the tired, tottering EU tower starts to collapse in earnest.

David Crowder
David Crowder

W.D. Crowder is an American published author. His background and areas of expertise include history, economics, expatriate living, international relations, investments and personal finance. A widely read and top of his class graduate of Stetson University, he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in History with minors in Latin American Studies and International Relations and a special emphasis in Economics. He was President of his Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honors Fraternity) Stetson University chapter and a Phi Beta Kappa (National Honors Fraternity) member.

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