By Ayhan Simsek
Austria's newly formed conservative far-right coalition government pledged on Saturday a tougher approach to migration and stronger domestic security measures.
The leaders of center-right Austrian People's Party (OVP) and its partner far-right Freedom Party (FPO) announced their coalition program at a press conference in Vienna.
OVP’s young leader Sebastian Kurz and FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache told reporters that the new government would give priority to measures that strengthen internal security, would prepare a “security package” and also adopt a tougher approach to refugee policy.
Both leaders tried to address concerns on European capitals over the far-right FPO, and stressed that the new coalition government would adopt a pro-EU approach.
The 31-year old Kurz said in the new coalition government he will become the Chancellor, and Strache would assume the position of Vice Chancellor.
According to the coalition agreement, the far-right FPO would hold key ministerial posts, including the Defense Minister and Interior Minister.
For the Foreign Ministry, the two parties agreed on a non-party candidate, former diplomat and expert Karin Kneissl, who was suggested by the FPO for this position.
The conservative OVP won the parliamentary election on Oct. 15 by capturing 31.6 percent of the vote, but fell short of an absolute majority in parliament. The anti-immigration FPO got 26 percent.
The two parties reached an agreement to form a coalition government on Friday night, after eight weeks of intense negotiations after the election.