Majority of Austrians support veto against Romania, poll reveals
Over half (52%) of Austrians support their government’s decision to block the inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen area, according to a recent survey. By comparison, roughly one-third of respondents said that the same decision was a mistake.
Most of those who support the veto are voters of the conservative OVP government and the nationalist FPO party.
The same poll, conducted by the Peter Hajek institute and cited by News.ro, reveals that the FPO is the most popular party in Austria, ahead of more established parties. 26% of respondents say they support FPO. The social democrats came in second with 24%, followed by the conservatives with 22%. NEOS, a newer, liberal-leaning party, and the Greens, who are the junior party in government, are tied for fourth place with 11%.
The current chancellor and author of the veto against Romania, Karl Nehammer, still enjoys a 30% approval rate, followed by FPO leader Herbert Kickl, with 25%. Social-democrat leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner comes in third, with 22%. Another social democrat, Hans Peter Doskozil, enjoys a higher approval rate (31%) than all other Austrian politicians and may represent a chance for the left to sway voters.
The Austrian social democrats have continued to drop in polls. Analysts say that the probable cause is their hesitancy regarding asylum-seekers and the Schengen area.
Some among the Austrian center-left have criticized the government for blocking Romania and Bulgaria from joining Schengen. Others, like Rendi-Wagner, have agreed with the move. The Greens have been among the vocal opponents of the veto.
The poll was conducted on a small sample of 800 people above the age of 16, between December 12 and 15.