ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The Austria country-specific ETF advanced Monday, breaking toward new highs, as Austria’s new coalition government, which includes the far-right Freedom Party, was sworn in.

The iShares MSCI Austria Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWO), the only ETF dedicated to Austrian equities, increased 3.8% Monday. EWO has also been among the best performing single country-specific ETFs this year, rising 43.7% year-to-date.

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party was sworn in Monday as part of a new coalition that pledged to stop illegal immigration, cut taxes, reduce government bureaucracy, add new national climate and energy strategy, and resist EU centralization, Agence France-Presse reports.

FPOe chief Heinz-Christian Strache has claimed that Islam “has no place in Europe” and called German Chancellor Angela Merkel “the most dangerous woman in Europe” for her open-door refugee policy. Strache pledged the government will slash benefits for asylum-seekers ahead.

“It will no longer happen for migrants who have never worked here a single day or paid anything into the social system to get thousands of euros in welfare!” Strache said.

Along with the Austrian government’s pledges to stop illegal immigration, the new coalition is expected to slash taxes and oppose further EU political and economic integration. The new government stated that it will “steer the EU back in the right direction towards its fundamental ideas,” meaning less centralized decision making, CNN reports.

Beyond the politics surrounding the influx of foreign immigrants to the European Union, the new Austrian government plans to enact a number of budget and tax changes that could help the economy. For instance, the government plans to reduce corporate tax burden such as exempting profit reinvested in Austria, according to Reuters. Additionally, it will not introduce wealth or inheritance taxes, introduce public “debt brake” in the constitution and push for higher taxes on online transactions with foreign companies. There are plans to cut public spending to fund the tax cuts – the People’s Party new chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Strache repeatedly said during campaigns that they planned to reduce public spending by 12 billion euros or $14.1 billion.

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