Austria’s left-leaning Greens formally agreed yesterday to join a coalition led by the conservative People’s Party, in a sign of the growing influence of environmental parties in Europe in response to fears of climate change. Many more radical members of the Greens were unhappy, however, with a coalition described by the Austrian media as considerably more turquoise, the colour of the People’s Party, than green. Although they have been rewarded with a rise in tax on flights, a cut in the cost of public transport and a pledge to make Austria carbon neutral by 2040, the Greens will have to support Kurz’s tax-cutting economic agenda and conservative social policies, partly carried over from the previous conservative-far right coalition. Greens made gains in May’s elections to the European parliament, and are at present in coalitions in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Luxembourg — though, in all four cases, they rule alongside Social Democrats and other left-of-centre parties rather than conservatives, as will be the case in Austria. The Greens are already in government in 12 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments — in seven of them alongside the CDU. They lead the government of just one: the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.
Times 5th Jan 2020 read more »
Guardian 4th Jan 2020 read more »