31-year-old Sebastian Kurz is set to become the world’s youngest leader as he has been elected as Austria’s new chancellor.
Kurz took over the took over the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) in May, and before that, was the foreign minister, a post he held when he was 27.
Kurz has been likened to the young leaders of Canada and France, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron respectively, although, unlike the two who are quite liberal, Kurz’s politics lean to the far right.
Kurz, according to Al Jazeera, steered his party further right, calling for stricter border controls in Europe following the mass movement of refugees to the continent; introduced laws preventing foreign organisations from financially supporting Austrian mosques; said Muslims in Austria should only be allowed government-approved German language Qurans.
Sebastian Kurz also backed the “burka ban,” which prohibits Muslim women from wearing full faced veils in public.
According to Vox, Kurz has been accused to taking his ideas from Austria’s far right party Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), which was founded by Nazis in the 1950s.
What’s different is Sebastian Kurz speaks with a much gentler voice and with moderate language that appeals to both the conservative and liberal population.
Also, it helps that he has called for a dramatic lowering of taxes.
Kurz is unmarried, although he lives with his girlfriend.