The “Trump Effect” in Austria: The Next Atlanticist Domino to Fall?

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December 1, 2016 – 

By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –

On December 4th, presidential elections will be held in Austria. Although the country is relatively average in size and population, nevertheless, the Austrian elections have far more than local importance. This country belongs to the list of those who have enormously contributed to the development of European (Romano-Germanic) culture. Vienna was one of the commonly-recognized capitals of Europe (alongside Paris), and the Austrian Habsburgs were the rulers of more than half of Europe. 

Today, however, none of its former political strength or imperial borders have remained, but Austria remains an integral part of the common German space. Therefore, Germany and other countries with a majority or significant German population are closely following the Austrian elections. According to the theory of communicative vessels, the results of the Austrian elections could also impact neighboring Czech Republic, as well as Hungary and Slovakia. The political unity of these countries and Austria was destroyed long ago, but the strong social bond between them has been preserved. 

Russia is also following the elections with considerable interest. Despite its modest size, Austria is widely represented on the Russian market. In political terms, Austria has allowed itself to play the role of the enfant terrible of European politics, even criticizing the anti-Russian sanctions. This, of course, has not gone unnoticed in Moscow. Therefore, Russians in general are well-disposed towards Austria’s political affairs and especially hope to see the Austria Freedom Party’s candidate, Norbert Hofer, claim victory in the presidential elections. 

However, I am sure that good relations with Russia could also come from Hofer’s rival, van der Bellen. Yet it is Hofer’s victory that is Russia’s “little European dream.” Why? After all, the country is relatively small and the presidential post is purely symbolic.

Russia has an understandable and clear sympathy for the Eurosceptic parties and the so-called “Euro-nationalists.” A Hofer victory would be another brick in the wall of defense of “national Europe” against the liberal-Trotskyite international. Parties from this spectrum can be found across Europe from Lisbon to Warsaw. But if in some countries (Western and Central Europe) these parties have managed to become a part of the official political layer, then in others they remain outside of the democratic process and are taboo (Eastern European countries such as Czech Republic and Poland). Especially telling in this regard is the fate of the leader of the Polish party Zmiana, Mateusz Piskorski, who in May became the most famous prisoner of conscience in “democratic” Europe. 

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If Hofer wins in the upcoming December 4th elections, the growing Europe-wide Eurosceptic trend will be confirmed. This trend has even gone beyond the boundaries of the European continent, which was brilliantly proven by the victory of the “American Eurosceptic,” Donald Trump, in the US presidential elections. 

I would go so far as to call Norbert Hofer the “Austrian Trump” for two reasons. One is his Euroscepticism, and the other is that no one has believed that the victory of the “incorrect” candidates is really possible. Yet Trump’s victory was a real sensation, just as Hofer’s victory in the first round (by a margin of 15%) over the Green Party, which has long since been a part of the establishment, was a European sensation.

As is known, the results of the second round of the Austrian elections held on May 22nd, 2016 brought victory by only a tiny margin to Alexander van der Bellen. These were later disputed by the Austrian Freedom Party.  Now, in several days, a re-run of the elections will be held. 

Judging by everything, the same mechanism is working in Austria that I would call the “Le Pen principle,” i.e., when all the establishment’s candidates (from the right-wing liberals to the Trotskyists, who were integrated into Western political circles before the Second World War) unite against the non-systemic candidate (as in France, starting with Le Pen and then his daughter). As the US elections showed, this principle didn’t work on Trump. On the other hand, Trump might not be so much of an anti-system candidate as a representative of the periphery of the establishment. 

Another factor playing in Norbert Hofer’s favor could be the worsening migration situation in Europe and the obvious failure of Angela Merkel’s policy. Therefore, the Austrian seesaw is balancing on the brink of victory for any one of the candidates.

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But if Hofer wins, then Merkel’s policies will be dealt a significant blow. This victory would be a landmark for all the national forces united against the rule of the liberal-Trotskyite internationale in Europe. 

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