VIENNA – The former head of the Social Democratic Party of Austria in European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda expressed regret over the performance of Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz at the pre-election rally of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE in Skopje.
“It is high time Macedonia embarked on a new path based on European values. Therefore it is particularly regrettable that Minister Kurz supported those responsible for the difficult situation within the country”, said Swoboda in a statement. He said that Macedonia needs free elections, without the influence of foreign ministers or governments.
The Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Florian Bieber told the Austrian newspaper “Der Standard” that Austria “supports an authoritarian guardian of the gate.”
The Austrian Foreign Ministry says that Kurz attended the campaign rally not as Foreign Minister, but as a representative of the European People’s Party, who is a member of the People’s Party of Austria, just as the VMRO-DPMNE.
The Ministry stressed that the situation in Macedonia should not be unilaterally observed, but it is necessary VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM to undertake reform efforts. Both sides, as recommend by Vienna should create conditions for free and fair elections.