Austria's Greens say yes to Sebastian Kurz and OVP


IIn Austria, the Greens expanded the executive committee unanimously advocated coalition negotiations with the Christian-Democratic OVP. Green Party Chairman Werner Kogler said on Sunday following a meeting of the crucial panel that he had proposed this in the light of the soundings that had been going on for over a month. Try to fill in trenches. "Our hand to the OVP is stretched out with it. How that ends, we do not know. "By this Monday at the latest, the OVP chairman Sebastian Kurz wants to explain. Even before the Greens decision in Vienna, it was agreed that he would take up the coalition negotiations with the Greens in this case.

Stephan Lowenstein

Political correspondent for Austria and neighboring countries based in Vienna.

That Kurz '"turquoise" OVP could seriously enter into coalition negotiations with the Greens was, at least until the election at the end of September, the most unlikely of all variants. In terms of content, the two were as far apart as their electoral programs as otherwise unthinkable pairing. And even this pairing was according to the underlying surveys as only conceivable, if a third partner to the majority formation or gain would be added: the liberal Neos. But the election result, which gave the Turks a decent plus and the Greens a sensational leap from the extra-parliamentary opposition to a double-digit result, made all these considerations a waste.

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Of course, the strangeness remained. No one has expressed it as well as the OVP club chairman (faction leader) August WOginger in the election campaign: "It can not be that our children go to Wean and come back as a green. Anyone who sleeps and eats in our home has to vote for the People's Party. "In the Greens, this quote was received partly with indignation, as proof of the tyranny and authority of the OVP. But if you look closely, then illustrates this statement of the down-to-earth Upper Austrian WOginger, who leads in the OVP the workers wing, and the inner relationship of the two, in a sense, conservative parties.

"The moment you meet people directly, the pictures in your head change as well"

About what has now been going on in four weeks of exploratory talks can also be found meaningful quotes. They come from Birgit Hebein, the Green Party Chairman in the Vienna State Association. In the capital so distrustfully eyed by WOginger because of its green-bearish dangers, Hebein holds the office of vice-mayor in a red-green coalition. Like WOginger on the part of the OVP, she belongs to the six-person negotiating group of her party. Before the elections, she said: "I have no idea how turquoise and green could come together – in terms of climate change, the rule of law, and child poverty." However, after several rounds of talks, she said: "It's like in real life. The moment one encounters people directly, the images in the mind also change. "She meets many people in Vienna who say," It would be very good if you co-direct and take responsibility. "

Once before, the OVP and the Greens have led coalition negotiations. That was in 2002. The then still "blacks" were led by Wolfgang Schussel – like Kurz now also had bowl then a prematurely ended coalition with the FPO behind. Greens leader was Alexander Van der Bellen, today's Federal President. At that time negotiations failed – not at the two leaders, but at the opposite wings of their parties. Since then a lot has happened. The Greens have gained government experience in federal states: not only on the side of the SPO, but also the OVP. In fact, there have even been more black-green governments than red-green ones.

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