Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann steps down after election set back to anti-immigration party

After almost eight years in office, Werner Faymann confirmed on Tuesday that he was resigning as Austrian chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats (SPÖ) following a loss of support within his party’s ranks.

“This country needs a chancellor whose party is completely behind them,” Faymann said. “The government needs a fresh start with force. Anyone who doesn’t have this support isn’t up to the job.”

The 56-year-old, who entered office in December 2008, was already confronted by calls to resign after the SPÖ was defeated in the first round of the presidential election on April 24.

Much to the delight of fellow far-right factions across Europe, Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) swept the first round of the elections, with 36.4 percent of the vote. The result marked the first time since 1945 that neither the SPÖ nor the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) succeeded in entering the second round.

h/t ZD