France reacts to Austrian far-right defeat with praise, condolences

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls welcomes victory for left-leaning Alexander Van der Bellen in Austria's presidential elections, while National Front brushes aside defeat of Norbert Hofer to underscore surge of far-right.

"Relieved to see the Austrians reject populism and extremism," Valls writes on Twitter. "Everyone should take a lesson from this in Europe."

Florian Philippot, vice president of France's far-right National Front, tells broadcaster BFM-TV he is disappointed by Norbert Hofer's narrow defeat but points to gains made by Austrian conservatives in recent years as indicating a groundswell of support for "sovereignty" parties.

The National Front separately extends its congratulations to Hofer for his "remarkable campaign and very good result."

Last update: Mon, 23/05/2016 - 21:20

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