Austrian president hopes for coalition gov't formation before Christmas

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-02 05:25:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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VIENNA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Friday expressed his wish that a swearing-in of the country's new government take place before Christmas, Austria press agency reported.

Talks between the two parties to the next coalition -- the center-right People's Party and the right populist Freedom Party -- have been ongoing since shortly after the Oct. 15 election.

Speculation has circulated in local media that a swearing-in may take place on Dec. 20, which the president would not confirm.

He also noted that the content of the agreements struck by the two parties during their talks is more important than a finalized swearing-in date.

Van der Bellen, a former Greens party leader, said he has held many private talks with the leaders of both parties, Sebastian Kurz and Heinz-Christian Strache, which had been marked by respect, understanding and trust.

He also addressed previous issues he has had with the Freedom Party given its right-leaning nature, noting that he would keep an eye on its dealings in the European Parliament. There it is part of the Europe of Nations and Freedom political group, along with other similar right-wing European parties.