Berlin, Oct 17 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Sebastian Kurz, the leader of the Austrian People’s Party, for the win in his country’s legislative elections.
Merkel made her comments at a press conference on Monday after Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz’s party, whose initials are OVP in German, secured the largest share of the votes in Sunday’s election, Efe news reported.
The Chancellor said she was “not so dramatically concerned” about Kurz’s refugee policy and that “the differences aren’t that clear and direct in face-to-face conversations”.
The differences were “not that contentious”, Merkel said, adding that she would delve deeper into the matter should Kurz become the next Austrian Chancellor.
It was now time to wait for the formation of a new Austrian government, she said while expressing hope for cooperation on a European level.
She also congratulated the OVP leader for modernising his party and leading an “energetic” campaign.
All parties in Austria were facing a challenge, she warned after the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) snatched 26 per cent of the votes.
Merkel said that the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) after its recent entry to the Bundestag and a regional chamber on Sunday was “manageable” compared to the influence of the ultra-nationalists in Austria.
She was speaking to the press following disappointing results for her Christian Democratic Union party in a state election held in northern Germany’s Lower Saxony a day before, which saw the conservatives doing their worst since 1959, finishing in second place.