People's Party front-runner Reinhold Lopatka is pursuing a “dual electoral goal” in June's EU parliamentary elections. He believes that after the election the European People's Party (EPP) will be the strongest faction in the new EU Parliament and will fight for the first place for the ÖVP in Austria. Lopatka, when asked about surveys that currently see the ÖVP only in third place, said in a ZIB2 interview last night that it was important to have as many mandates as possible.
ÖVP-EU front candidate Lopatka for the EU elections
Reinhold Lopatka, the newly elected top candidate of the ÖVP, talks about his election plan for the upcoming EU elections.
Lopatka has no objection to accusations that Austria has turned from being a machine to a brake on the EU. On the contrary, Austria is a pioneer, as Lopatka pointed out on the issue of asylum – the keyword of asylum procedures exclusively at the EU's external borders. At the same time, Lopatka tried to distance himself from the FPÖ. They see Europe as an enemy, “I have an image of friends,” said the ÖVP top candidate, who also accused the FPÖ, led by Herbert Gicl, of being “Putin's extended hand.”
Recalling that he once spoke out in support of FPÖ presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, Lopatka defended his position at the time. “Kickl-FPÖ” cannot be a coalition partner for the ÖVP, according to Lopatka, who said when asked: “The emphasis is on Kickl.” Meanwhile, Lopatka did not want to participate in the current speculation about the early National Council. Election. “Every word I say on this subject prolongs the debate as rumours,” said Lopatka, who said he wanted to focus more on the EU elections.