France reacts to Austrian far-right defeat with praise, condolences

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls welcomes victory for left-leaning Alexander Van der Bellen in Austria's presidential elections, while National Front brushes aside defeat of Norbert Hofer to underscore surge of far-right.

"Relieved to see the Austrians reject populism and extremism," Valls writes on Twitter. "Everyone should take a lesson from this in Europe."

Florian Philippot, vice president of France's far-right National Front, tells broadcaster BFM-TV he is disappointed by Norbert Hofer's narrow defeat but points to gains made by Austrian conservatives in recent years as indicating a groundswell of support for "sovereignty" parties.

The National Front separately extends its congratulations to Hofer for his "remarkable campaign and very good result."

Last update: Mon, 23/05/2016 - 21:20

More from Europe

Spanish Socialists resolve crisis as minority government looms

 Spain is set to have its first fully functional government in 10 months after the centre-left Socialist Party (PSOE...

Police in stand-off with man in London flat hoarding "combustibles"

British armed police on Sunday entered the third day of a stand-off with a man suspected of having "combustible...

German foreign minister says EU break-up is a real threat

The break-up of the European Union is a real possibility, warns German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in...

Report: Three dead amid two gas blasts in Russia

A pair of gas explosions striking homes claimed at least three lives Sunday and left at least 20 wounded, according...

Danish queen writes that residency doesn't make a person Danish

Living in Denmark is not enough to make a person Danish, writes Danish Queen Margrethe II in her new book, a...