Friday, March 31, 2023

Second term for Van der Bellen

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Alexander Van der Bellen (centre) speaks at the swearing-in ceremony in Parliament. Photo: Roland Schlager/APA/dpa

The EU has yet to find its geostrategic role, said the 79-year-old head of state on Thursday. “Otherwise others will decide about us,” he said in parliament. There the former leader of the Greens took his oath for a second six-year term in front of the members of the Federal Council and the National Council.

On the eve of the swearing-in, Van der Bellen drew a clear line to the right-wing FPÖ. In an interview with the broadcaster ORF, he was asked whether he would commission party leader Herbert Kickl to form a government after the FPÖ won the elections. Van der Bellen said he would not try to promote “an anti-European party, a party that does not condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine, through my measures”.

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