VIENNA (Reuters) – Norbert Hofer, proposed to replace scandal-execrable Heinz-Christian Strache as chief of Austria’s Freedom Party, is the country’s transport minister who practically became western Europe’s first a long way-ethical president in 2016.
– The Forty eight-year-traditional feeble aeronautical engineer who flies tiny planes as a ardour instructed Reuters in a 2016 interview he noticed U.S. President Donald Trump’s electoral victory as proof that he used to be on the ethical computer screen alongside with his populist Austria-first election campaign that included calls to quit immigration.
– Love Trump, Hofer sees himself as a nationalist who acknowledges the considerations of current of us no longer illustrious by a political institution. Till now deputy FPO chief, he is even handed one of Austria’s most current politicians, better most current than the polarizing Strache.
– Hofer misplaced a presidential escape-off by a mere 31,000 votes against feeble Greens Party chief Alexander Van der Bellen nevertheless got a new probability when the Constitutional Court docket annulled the cease outcome as a consequence of counting irregularities, most effective to lose by a bigger margin.
– Photogenic, wisely-dressed and softly spoken, Hofer has targeted on the refugee disaster, rallying for a ban on what the Freedom Party calls “financial migrants”. He helps the premise of developing what he known as “security areas” outdoors Europe the put asylum requests might perhaps presumably per chance presumably silent be processed.
– Hofer, who voted against Austria’s becoming a member of the European Union in a 1994 referendum, has backed off from outdated requires an “Oexit” – an Austrian exit from the EU – after it became clear that Austrians largely abolish no longer are attempting to train Britain in selecting to leave the bloc.
Reporting by Michael Shields, Kirsti Knolle and Francois Murphy; Editing by Alison Williams and Jane Merriman