March 4. 2024. 6:19

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Eyeing chancellorship, Austrian far-right vows to kill ‘climate communism’

The leader of Austria’s far-right FPÖ, Herbert Kickl consolidated his hold on his political aims by slamming political competitors, Russia sanctions and his government’s climate protection plans at a leadership retreat in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.

The FPÖ is currently leading the polls ahead of the 2025 elections at about 30%.

Following the elections, the FPÖ wants to lead the government as there is a need for “a liberal people’s chancellor”, Kickl said after the retreat on Thursday.

Unlike in the past, Kickl signalled that he would not seek to forge a coalition compromise. Twenty years ago, the FPÖ had stepped back from the chancellorship to secure a government agreement. In 2017, the party lost the race.

“There is only one FPÖ in Austria, and that is the Kickl-FPÖ,” he told those who resist a potential coalition with the hardliner.

Kickl also criticised the government for pushing a policy of “climate communism” that he said needed pushback.

Austria must continue to rely on Russian gas as going fully green is ‘impossible’, he added.

Kickl also referred to the ongoing leadership fight within the opposition Social Democrats as “cannibalism.”

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer |