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  • Leader of Austria's Green Party Werner Kogler and head of People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz shake hands after delivering a statement, in Vienna, Austria Jan. 1, 2020.

    Leader of Austria's Green Party Werner Kogler and head of People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz shake hands after delivering a statement, in Vienna, Austria Jan. 1, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020

The measures are part of what Conservative leader Sebastian Kurz describes as a tough stance on illegal migration and “political Islam.”

A coalition deal between Austria’s conservative People’s Party (OVP) and the Greens will include banning headscarves and preventive custody for potentially “dangerous” migrants, several Austrian media reported Thursday.

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The deal includes raising the age until which girls are banned from wearing a headscarf in school to 14 from around 10, media including newspaper Die Presse and broadcaster ORF said. 

It will also implement preventive custody of potentially dangerous individuals, even if they have not committed a crime. The plan was rehashed by Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz’s OVP with the far-right after a fatal stabbing apparently committed by an asylum seeker in February.

The measures are part of what Kurz describes as a tough stance on illegal migration and “political Islam,” aimed at appealing to his base and far-right, whose coalition with his party collapsed in May.

“A lot of turquoise and a bit of green,” tabloid Kronen Zeitung headlined its story, referring to the parties by their colors and the fact Kurz’s policies will prevail over the Greens, which have said theirs will seek to “ecologize the tax system.”

However, the coalition deal must still be approved by the Greens’ top decision-making body, the Federal Council, on Saturday.

The governing deal was reached Wednesday ensuring Kurz’s return to power and bringing the left-wing party into government for the first time. 

The deal comes after Kurz’s party won the parliamentary election on Sept. 29 with 37.5 percent of the votes resulting in 71 seats in the National Council (Lower House of Parliament). 

Yet Kurz’s People’s Party (OVP) was short of the 92 seats needed for a majority, requiring a deal to score the 26 seats from the Greens as announced on Nov. 11.

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