Vienna Sebastian Kurz has every reason to shine after the elections in Austria. The old Federal Chancellor will be the new Federal Chancellor. The 33-year-old made his ÖVP on Sunday by far the strongest party in the Alpine Republic. In a word, it is now almost possible to choose which coalition partner he wants to lead the country with in the future.
After the Greens have managed to re-enter the National Council with a quadrupling of their votes, a black-green parliamentary majority is now possible. The ecology party had achieved the best result of their eventful history on Sunday.
The former Haider Party FPÖ, however, has suffered a heavy election defeat with a minus of ten percent. The right-wing populist party has been staggering since the "Ibiza Affair". And even the recently announced Spesenskandal their former party leader Heinz-Christian Strache cost apparently many votes.
Already during the election campaign, the new FPÖ leader Norbert Hofer had offered his party like sour beer as a coalition partner. He had no choice. The alliance with the conservatives is the only right-wing populist power option.
The outcome of the elections shows that Austria has become more colorful since the Ibiza affair. In the election campaign, the new edition of a government alliance between ÖVP and FPÖ was logical. But Kurz will now consider very carefully whether he wants to once again take the big political risk with the FPÖ. After all, the Ibiza affair with the former FPÖ leader Strache has shown that there is no state to be formed with this party.
The currently politically discarded Strache wanted to redirect state orders to a supposed Russian oligarch family, destroy the media freedom and assign no more orders to local entrepreneurs such as the Strabag founder Haselsteiner. But did the betrayal of Austria and the subsequent break of the governing coalition have deeply moved the right-wing party to repentance? Not yet.
That could change after the defeat on election night, because many FPÖ voters have defected to the People's Party of short. Many people have clearly realized in recent months how much the image of Austria in Europe and the world has suffered as a result of the Ibiza affair.
The country's political stability was undoubtedly better. With Kurz as an old and new chancellor, there is now the sixth head of government in six years in the Alpine republic. Once again early elections can not afford the country in the foreseeable future. With a new central government, Kurz would have the chance to permanently end the period of great insecurity and make an honest start.
The fat years are also coming to an end in Austria
For the next five years, a stable, scandal-free and corruption-free government with great courage for reform and innovation is needed. Instead of ruthless propagandists internationally experienced problem solvers and competent lateral entrants would be in demand. Because the fat years are also ending in Austria.
Economic researchers have already noted a cyclical downturn. Austria can not escape the negative pull from Germany. And even in Eastern Europe – the market so important for the Alpine republic – growth rates are already declining noticeably.
Austria must continue to modernize. The country still has a much too high public ratio, a large debt mountain, an excessive bureaucracy, too high taxes and an opulent pension plan. Finally irritated also a politically strengthened state holding company to the corporations as the oil company OMV or the electricity supplier composite belong.
Postponements are still part of everyday life in state-owned enterprises and state-owned companies. The capital market is underdeveloped by international standards. And the reform backlog is still big.
After a period of political narcissism with all its excesses under the conservative right-wing populist government, Kurz, as election winner, has to muster the courage to break new ground in the formation of a government. As election winner, he has the privilege of having two bourgeois parties – the Greens and the SPÖ – as coalition partners.
However, the Social Democrats have further maneuvered themselves into the crisis and lost a fifth of their votes. According to this result, the luckless SPD leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner is counted anyway. An alliance with the Social Democrats would be only one last resort. Theoretically, a "dirndl coalition" with Greens and liberal neos would be possible, with the seats of the Neos for a parliamentary majority not needed.
After this election, Austria has the chance to regain its political center. This opportunity for repentance will be used by Kurz as "Chancellor 2.0" for himself and his party.
More: Short wins election in Austria – FPÖ loses ten percent. Read more here.