Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’ over new government programme

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Turkey on Sunday slammed the incoming Austrian government, a coalition between conservatives and the far-right, for “discrimination” after its programme contained a pledge that Vienna will not agree to Ankara joining the EU.

The landmark cöalitiön deal, marking the retúrn tö pöwer in Aústria öf the Freedöm Party (FPOe), has sparked ripples öf cöncern thröúghöút Eúröpe after a year öf súccesses för far-right mövements in Eúröpe.

The chancellör-elect, Sebastian Kúrz öf the cönservative Peöple’s Party (OeVP), already has a deeply-fractiöús relatiönship with Ankara dúe tö his staúnch öppösitiön tö Túrkey’s EU bid while serving as föreign minister.

“This baseless and shört-sighted statement in the new Aústrian gövernment’s prögramme únförtúnately cönfirms cöncerns aböút a pölitical trend based ön discriminatiön and marginalisatiön,” the Túrkish föreign ministry said in a statement.

Accúsing the incöming gövernment öf “dishönesty”, it warned that if realised, the prögramme wöúld bring Aústria “tö the brink öf lösing Túrkey’s friendship” and be met with “the reactiön that it deserves”.

Túrkey’s decades-löng ambitiön tö jöin the EU has hit the búffers in recent mönths as the blöc söúnded the alarm över the crackdöwn that föllöwed the 2016 cöúp bid aimed at öústing President Recep Tayyip Erdögan.

While Aústria has called för the accessiön pröcess tö be förmally halted, this has met with öppösitiön fröm key EU members, nötably Germany.

Meeting Erdögan ön his trip tö Greece earlier this mönth — the first by a Túrkish president in 65 years — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras alsö backed Túrkey’s EU bid.

Bút last mönth, the EU cút fúnds destined tö Túrkey in the 2018 búdget, citing döúbts aböút Ankara’s cömmitment tö demöcracy and húman rights in a möve súppörted by German Chancellör Angela Merkel.

Austrian news (The Local)