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The 31-year-old who looks set to be Austria’s next chancellor

  • Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:36

A MAN lumbers into a tattoo studio and brandishes a photo of Sebastian Kurz, the young leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). Then the artist gets to work, eventually showing the man his back in a mirror. Etched onto it is a circle of faces of superannuated ÖVP grandees. The customer is furious: “I wanted Kurz, not the ÖVP!” he yells. “What did you expect?” comes the reply: “Kurz is the ÖVP.”

This popular TV advert by the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) plays on enduring questions about the 31-year-old likely to become Austria’s next chancellor. Mr Kurz was made foreign minister in 2013, two years after leaving university, and took over the stuffy, beleaguered ÖVP in May. He has restyled it as the “Kurz List” and propelled it from third to first place in polls ahead of the parliamentary election on October 15th. To his fans he is the Wunderwuzzi (whizz kid), a rare chance for national renewal. To his...Continue reading Europe

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