As a result of two world wars and some bloody civil wars in the 1930s, Austrians have tried their best to avoid conflicts after that. After 1945, many Austrians continue to remain anti-American till today, frequently claiming that both the Soviet Union and the United States were occupying the country at the time.
But, as time passed, the world changed and so did Austria. The former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek in 2017 had stated “Austria always wants to be a bridge between East and West,”. Austria started to mend relations with both the west and east.
The cordial relations between Europe and Russia were running amid grudges smoothly. With the start of the Russia Ukraine war, Austria officially ended its neutrality and sided completely with the Western allies, breaking the bridge it wanted to construct.
This has caused Austrian Chancellor Nehammer to cost an arm and a leg. Austria is on fire and honestly, Nehammer has committed political suicide. At least the data states so.
Losing Stature in Austria
We all know that Europe is in deep trouble as the Russian gas and oil supplies have hit a snag amidst the sanctions and supply chain issues. Austria is no different, Gazprom has cut the supply of gas to Austria’s oil and gas company, OMV. This has deepened the ongoing gas crisis in the country.
Now at a moment when the Austrian Chancellor should provide his citizens adequate support and sympathy, he has given some really absurd statements. Putting all the blame on the EU, Nehammer stated, that the EU has to take measures to combat prices hikes and energy costs “in such a way that Austria does not drive inflation up but try to rein it in collectively,”
Support for Karl Nehammer around the country has dropped significantly. As per the morning consult’s approval rating, Karl Nehammer’s approval rating stands at just 32%. Around, 61% disapprove of his politics.
Similar is the case of his party, OVP is approved by just 22% of the population. Whereas, the opponent SPO reigns at around 30%.
For those who don’t know, Nehammer was announced as Chancellor of Austria when former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after getting investigated for giving false statements and a breach of public trust. Even after he got situation has not improved.
Losing Neutrality: A Major Cause
See, these are all facts, leaving Neutrality has pushed Austria into deep trouble. The Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer extended his hands to the Western agenda and groped the rope, Nehammer left no stone unturned to chastise Russia. He had even cited Putin as responsible for war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer had also announced that Austria’s defense spending would be doubled, from 0.7 percent of its GDP to 1.5 percent.
Austrians never wanted Nehammer to incline with the Western agenda, a few polls indicate that 75 percent of Austrians reject the NATO alliance’s agenda.
Even after Putin’s action in Crimea back in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin was warmly welcomed in Vienna on several occasions. Nehammer completely ditched the line and the results are here. If elections are held today, Nehammer wouldn’t survive the anti-incumbency.
“Permanent neutrality” has remained enshrined in the country’s constitution and almost every leader has followed it. Karl Nehammer and his party in the war ditched his own constitutional norms and the results are here. If the current situation persists, Nehammer could lose the 2024 elections.