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#Austria presidential election: Van der Bellen win 'shows a progressive alternative is possible' say Greens

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161204vontrapp2Greens/EFA President Philippe Lamberts has reacted to the victory of Alexander Van der Bellen in the Austrian presidential election.

"The victory of Van der Bellen gives hope for the whole European Union. He shows that there is an alternative that is not right-wing populism. That with Van der Bellen a candidate from the Green family has succeeded makes us happy. After Brexit and the victory of Donald Trump, he has shown that another way is possible, not the destructive approach that sets us against each other, but one which takes a common European approach.

"The victory of Van der Bellen does not mean that politicians in the EU can now lean back and continue with business as usual. We all have to take Van der Bellen as an example and prove to the citizens that there is a viable alternative to the politics that aims to profit only the few. We want a fair and democratic Europe that makes citizens proud again."

And European Council President Donald Tusk also extended his congratulations to Van der Bellen: "It is my pleasure to extend my wholehearted congratulations on your election as Federal President of the Republic of Austria. On behalf of the European Council and personally, I wish you every success in your term as president.

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"At a time when we are faced with many difficult challenges, the continued constructive contribution of Austria to finding common European solutions and keeping our European unity will remain essential."

Meanwhile, French Front National leader Marine le Pen praised the "progress" made by the far-right in the Austrian election, and reiterated her belief that her party will win France's general election next year.

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