Austrian poll to yield green policy continuity

Conservatives return to power with greatly increased vote; government introduces F-gas controls

A stunning success for Austria's conservative governing People's party in elections held on Sunday is expected to result in continuity in environmental policy making. Wilhelm Molterer is being tipped to retain his post as minister for environment and agriculture.

The result confounds pre-poll predictions that a Social democrat-Green coalition might win power. The Greens, in particular, did less well than expected, winning 9% of the vote against the 12% being suggested just a week ago. The party was committed to strengthening a range of environmental policies if it entered government (EED 16/10/02).

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