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  1. ITV Report

Austria's far-right given key government posts in coalition led by Sebastian Kurz's People's Party

Austria is the only country in Western Europe to have a far-right party in power. Credit: AP

The new Austrian government coalition is pledging to tighten the country's asylum and immigration regulations while maintaining a firm commitment to the European Union.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen approved the deal agreed on Friday night to create a new coalition between the conservative People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party.

The agreement will make 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Austria's new chancellor and Europe's youngest leader when he is sworn in on Monday.

Right-wing Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache will be vice chancellor and minister for sports and public servants.

Mr Kurz announced the proposals as he introduced the government programme to reporters on Saturday.

The statement reinforced Austria's commitment to the EU saying that no Brexit-like referendums would be allowed.

The coalition agreement calls for bolstering the country's police forces with another 2,100 officers, as well as immigration policies that "can be sustained by the population." It also says asylum should only be offered to people "for the duration of their persecution, who really need Austria's help"

Mr Kurz's conservative Austrian People's Party finished first in October's election on but without an overall majority.

The party leaders were had been in talks since the election before announcing on Friday that they had finalised an agreement that would see Austria becoming the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

The two leaders gave few details of their plans as they announced their agreement in Vienna.

Mr Kurz said the new government would work to reduce Austrians' tax burden, strengthen the economy and "above all, we want to ensure more security in our country, including by fighting illegal immigration".

Before the election, both parties campaigned on the need for tougher immigration controls, quick deportations of asylum seekers whose requests are denied and a crackdown on radical Islam.

Neither leader addressed the new government's approach to European policy during their brief appearance. Austria will hold the 28-nation European Union's rotating presidency in the second half of next year.

Mr Kurz has stressed the importance of a pro-European direction while the Freedom Party traditionally has been strongly Eurosceptic.

Mr Kurz said that Austrians had voted "for change in our country, and we want to ensure this change in the next five years".