Alexander Van der Bellen (born 18 January 1944), known informally as Sascha, is an Austrian politician and economist who was briefly President-elect of Austria. His parents successively held Russian, Estonian, and Austrian citizenship.
Regarding Austria's presidential election in 2006, quote from the article: "Mr Van der Bellen had said he did not want Austria to be led by a 'populist right-wing, pan-Germanic fraternity member' and even urged voters 'who don’t like me but perhaps like Hofer even less to vote for me'."
Alexander Van der Bellen supports marriage equality for homosexuals.
Van der Bellen gave a speech in the EU parliament in which he said that his win in the 2016 Austrian presidential elections was a "clear abdication of emerging nationalism, protectionism and oversimplifying populism". Furthermore he stated that harming human dignity, rejection of everything foreign, limiting of basic laws and freedoms, new walls and old nationalisms do not solve a single problem, only creates new ones.
During a talk to students, Van der Bellen said that whilst be believes a woman should wear “whatever she wants”, should Austria’s “rampant Islamophobia continue, there will come a day when we must ask all women to wear a headscarf – all of them! – out of solidarity towards those who do it for religious reasons”.
Van der Bellen, who was sworn in as president in January after defeating anti-mass migration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer in last December’s presidential re-run, has spoken of his support for abolishing national borders and creating a federal Europe, describing it as a “project of peace”.
Austria’s president pledged to be vigilant against anti-Semitism and xenophobia on Thursday after a Holocaust survivors group expressed concern about the new government that includes a far-right party founded by former Nazis. [...] “I will work to ensure for the duration of my tenure that destructive nationalism, xenophobia, right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism have no place in Austria,” President Alexander Van der Bellen replied.
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