PES warmly welcomes new Austrian president Prof. Van der Bellen
The Party of European Socialists warmly congratulates Prof. Alexander Van der Bellen for his election as President of Austria. We explicitly supported his candidacy in the 2nd round, as representing an open, inclusive, modern, tolerant and pro-European Austria.
PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “I am very happy about the election of Prof. Van der Bellen and I am extremely relieved that his contender Norbert Hofer lost. We and the leadership of our Austrian member party SPÖ, just as thousands of socialdemocratic grassroots activists, supported Prof. Van der Bellen in the 2nd round against the candidate of the extreme right. Because, no matter how polished his public image is, any candidate of the extreme right is unacceptable for us.”
“This has been a close call. It shows that people are profoundly unhappy with the way Europe is dealing with the crises of these last years. We will have to fight for tolerance, diversity and an economy that doesn’t lose sight of the people. This is a wake-up call for Europe”, Stanishev added.
The PES believes that progressive parties have to fight back the rise of populism and nationalism and that Europe must do more for people to improve their living standards and must provide them with more stable, safer and fairer perspective for the future. Standing firmly for our values – freedom, democracy, equality and solidarity – is the way to win back the trust of EU citizens.