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THE WEEK AHEAD

VIENNA : Shadow Over an Election

October 02, 1990

Austria holds parliamentary elections Sunday against a backdrop of heavy anti-foreigner sentiment.

The two mainstream parties that have ruled Austria since 1955--the Socialists and the Christian Democratic Austrian People's Party--have been put on the defensive by the small Freedom Party, which has made gains with its anti-crime, anti-immigrant platform. Targets are the 150,000 Poles, Romanians and Czechoslovaks who poured into Austria legally and illegally after the opening of Eastern Europe's borders during the past year.

Leaders of the Socialists fear a potential coalition between the People's and Freedom parties, which would mark a sharp turn to the right for Austria.

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