New Austrian leader rejects talk of an Eastern EU alliance

New Austrian leader rejects talk of an Eastern EU alliance

Austria’s new chancellor has rejected suggestions that his government will align broadly with eastern nations which have clashed with the European Union over migration and other issues.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz leads a coalition with the traditionally eurosceptic Freedom Party.

Both Mr Kurz’s People’s Party and the Freedom Party have taken a hard line against migration.

The position has generated speculation that Austria could move closer to the Visegrad group of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia than its western EU allies.

However, Mr Kurz warned against "over-interpreting things".

He said after the Cabinet met: "There are measures and initiatives where we have goodwill in western European countries.

"There are others where we will perhaps get applause from the Visegrad countries, and still others where we agree with all other 27 EU member states."

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