Austria's far-right candidate raises possibility of EU exit vote

The far-right candidate who has been given a second shot at winning the Austrian presidency said in an interview Saturday that, under certain conditions, his country could hold a referendum on leaving the European Union.

Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party spoke to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera after Friday's decision by the Constitutional Court to repeat a May presidential vote in which he was narrowly defeated by Green rival Alexander Van der Bellen.

Hofer said holding a referendum on Austria's exit from the EU would be warranted if Turkey were to be admitted into the bloc or if European treaties were to be changed to give Brussels more powers over national capitals.

"If Turkey were to join the European Union ... there would be a legitimate reason to ask the Austrian people about their willingness to remain or not in such an environment," the presidential candidate said.

Also, "a change of European treaties towards a further reduction of member state competencies would, in Austria, automatically lead to a referendum," Hofer added.

Last update: Sat, 02/07/2016 - 13:13

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