Van der Bellen inauguration: Austria provides a credible alternative to the lure of nationalism and chauvinism

Brussels, 26 January 2017

Commenting on Alexander Van der Bellen's inauguration taking place in Vienna today, the European Green Party co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:

"Today Alexander Van der Bellen is beginning his service as the President of Austria and we congratulate the people of Austria on this new leadership.

"Van der Bellen fought and won twice, thus confirming that Austrian voters opted clearly for rejecting the right-wing authoritarian perspectives offered by the so-called Freedom Party and instead chose to stick to shared European values and a European perspective for Austria.

"It might be argued that Van der Bellen was elected as Austrian President even though he was Green, but we are proud that the Austrian Greens were able to provide their nation with a viable and credible alternative to the lure of nationalism and chauvinism.

"We wish Alexander van der Bellen the very best as he will serve his country as the new President and we will learn from him in order to strenghten our own resolve and progressive alliances around Europe.

"In electing Alexander, Austria has proven that the wave of authoritarianism and right-wing populism can be defeated. We do pledge to build on this experience in the upcoming elections around Europe."

- ENDS -
Eliana Capretti
Head of Communications and Press
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