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Austrian conservative Kurz plans coalition talks with far right

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VIENNA, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz plans to hold coalition talks with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), he said on Tuesday, a step towards bringing the anti-immigration party back into government after more than a decade in opposition.

Having won last week’s parliamentary election with 31.5 percent of the vote, Kurz’s party is well short of a majority and needs a coalition partner to gain control of parliament and form a stable government. Only two parties have enough seats to do that with — the Social Democrats and the FPO.

“I have therefore decided to invite (FPO leader) Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPO today to take part in coalition talks,” Kurz told a news conference at the headquarters of his People’s Party, adding that a minority government was a “good Plan B” if those talks failed. (Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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