Austria’s Conservatives Bet on ‘Wunderkind’ Kurz to Defeat Far-Right

Peace and Freedom

VIENNA — Sebastian Kurz, the new leader of Austria’s conservative party, may only be 30 but he’s calling the shots in Austrian politics, forcing a snap election in which he plans to take the fight to the far-right Freedom Party on its own turf.

For Kurz, Europe’s youngest foreign minister, it is far from his first political tussle, or his most formidable opponent.

An early critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-border policy as Europe’s migration crisis bit, he infuriated Berlin when he brokered the closure of the Balkan route into Europe. But today he can claim the plaudits for a move few now question, even in Germany.

Kurz took charge of Austria’s foreign ministry in 2013 aged 27 and on Sunday became leader of the centre-right People’s Party (OVP) – a meteoric rise for a politician who never finished his law…

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