New Austrian chancellor: Orbánʼs authoritarianism wonʼt make migrants disappear

History

Flickr.com / SPÖ Presse und Kommunikation

Christian Kern, the Social Democratic Austrian chancellor appointed after an independent Green candidate narrowly won the countryʼs presidency a few days ago, said yesterday that, by acting as an authoritarian leader, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is mishandling the migrant issue, according to reports.

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. (Flickr.com / SPÖ Presse und Kommunikation)

Giving one of his first speeches as a chancellor, Kern was quoted as saying that it “is an illusion to think that issues related to migrants can be made to disappear by creating a state that follows authoritarian principles, which is what Viktor Orbán is doing.” Kern, a Social Democrat, suggested that Austrian-Hungarian relations, which have become icy due to the migrant crisis, are not likely to change anytime soon. 

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that Kern’s remarks were “deeply disillusioning”. He added that it was “an illusion to think that a change in chancellors in Austria would bring a change in cultures in Austrian domestic policies”.

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