Saturday, 3 December 2016

"Liar!" "Spy!" "Nazi!" "Communist!"

The jinxed Austrian Presidential Election will, if all goes according to plan, finally reach an end tomorrow Sunday.

Austria will in banana republic fashion undergo the scrutiny of election observers.

The candidates, Herr Hofer and Herr van der Bellen, are from opposite ends of the political spectrum.

It is no exaggeration to say they hate each other.

In yesterday's edition of Österreich political commentator Wolfgang Fellner said that the word "liar" was used 100 times by the candidates during the final TV duel.

These "statesmen", said Fellner, "are argumentative kindergarten chickens".

For my money the real trouble started much earlier. In April the writing was on the chicken coup wall.

Due to Germany's open door immigration policy and Austria's traditional political chicanery, the candidates from the two centre parties failed to stay in the race and the country was suddenly polarized.

Bookmakers have more at stake than erratic pollsters. Here are the latest returns to 1:00 euro:

Norbert Hofer  (FPÖ) -  1.50  euro.

Claim to fame:  young free-thinking sportsman injured in para-gliding accident.

Alexander van der Bellen (Independent) -  2.40 euro.

Claim to fame: elderly ex-Green Party leader. Unshaven chain smoking professor.

In Italy too, much is at stake tomorrow. We live in interesting times. The world is watching.

The EU takes a deep breath and waits.

The real world always intrudes and news of a family of six and their dog being shot to death in their Lower Austrian home by a crazed family member - a gunwoman - is dominating the front pages.

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