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THE WEEK AHEAD

VIENNA : Eye on the Right

October 04, 1994

Austrians vote Sunday in federal elections closely watched by nervous Central European neighbors as a barometer on the rising right. Populist Joerg Haider and his archconservative Freedom Party are expected to boost their parliamentary share to at least 20% on the strength of a campaign that has stirred up resentment of foreigners in Austria.

The ruling coalition that pairs the Social Democrats of Chancellor Franz Vranitzky with the center-right Austrian People's Party is expected to maintain its collective majority and control of the government.

But if the charismatic Haider and his party poll as strongly as forecasts indicate, the coalition will be increasingly compelled to heed the voice of the far right.

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