— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on October 16, Monday.
The current election polls show the rise of the far-right-wing Peple's Party in the Austrian election and if the votes are aligned with the poll, then the leader of party, 31-year-old Kurtz will have the opportunity to form the new cabinet, and, possibly become Austria's new Prime Minister and the EU's youngest leader. Currently, it is widely believed that the far-right Kurtz is likely to be aligned with the populist Freedom Party, which shares common grounds on the issue of immigration. What this means might be that we would see a right shifting of Austria's future policies.
Recently, the Austrian People's Party has been popular with voters due to Kurtz's hard-line stance on the refugee problem. He promised not to repeat the 2015 European refugee crisis and to shut down refugee routes to Europe. At the same time, holding the "Austrian priority" slogan, Kurtz's plans to limit the benefits for refugees, including the closure of Islamic kindergartens, and the provisions welfare payments to foreigners unless they have resided in Austria for five years or more. The stance helped the party to win the vote among young people and ring-wing supporters.
The rightward shift in the Austrian election may pose a certain degree of challenge to the EU system. During this morning's Asian trading, the Euro fell against the dollar. And it is expected to bring more downward pressure to the euro in the rest of this week. This is because, although Austria is probably not the most prominent economy in the EU, but it is still a core member, which bridges Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Therefore, the country's political situation will undoubtedly affect other EU countries.
In an interview with Greg Fusezi, an economist from JP Morgan Chase, he said that although the current far-right party explicitly rejects Oxit (Austria's exit of Europe), it remains broadly euro-skeptic, arguing for a deeper European Union and Eurozon reforms and eurozone reforms, clearer division of responsibility between EU and member states and reduced EU bureaucracy. Therefore, we are seeing the far-right heading back to the government and, this raises questions about Austria's attitude towards the EU. In addition, Brzeski, ING's Chief economist believes that the Austrian election would be regarded as an interesting hint and precedent for the rest of the Euro-zone.
As such, although the far-right-wing parties fail to win during the French and German elections, the votes and supports they received have substantially increased. This means that not only has European populism survived, it may very well become the "new norm" in EU politics and therefore turned into acceptable populism. As such, the Austrian election will become an important hint and precedent. We will continue to keep watch.
CNBC's Qian Chen reporting from Singapore.