“The Chancellor of Austria is young, that is undeniable, and we are working to ensure that we are good partners” Chancellor Angela Merkel cheerfully affirmed the will to strengthen her partnership with Austria with phrases like these. After receiving the new Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for his inaugural visit to Berlin with military honors, the two heads of government held a long conversation. It would have “little divisive found,” said Merkel in the subsequent press conference. The 31-year-old Kurz has been at the head of a coalition of the conservative Austrian People’s Party and the right-wing populists of the Freedom Party of Austria since December. In the past, he has repeatedly criticized Merkel’s “welcome policy” towards refugees. In a nutshell, he reiterated his call for “working external border management, which we urgently need”. “We have found little dividing”, said the german Chancellor at the subsequent press conference. They talked about economic and security policy, especially about migration policy. They and Kurz agreed that the illegal migration should be reduced and the external borders strengthened. Conversely, Kurz expressed his “interest as a neighbor in a stable government in Germany”. Kurz then stressed that he and the “esteemed Chancellor” were agreed that the EU states should grow together again and work together “on big issues such as foreign and defense policy”. Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months on 1 July 2018. Kurz hopes “to be able to make a contribution there as well”.
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