Austria, France push for tougher measures against Islamists


VIENNA – Austria and France are planning a joint campaign for tougher EU-wide measures to eradicate Islamist extremism on the continent after terrorist attacks in both countries in recent weeks, said Thursday officials in Vienna and Paris.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to hold a video conference next week with senior EU officials to discuss measures ranging from better screening of asylum seekers to tougher penalties for citizens who fought with extremist groups abroad.
The two leaders want to present their proposals to other EU heads of government at a summit on November 19, according to Kurz and European and French officials.
“We will create a legal and political framework to fight with all our might against political Islam – not only as terrorism or a public order issue, but as an ideology that sows hatred among young people through it. Europe, ”Mr Kurz said in an interview.
Mr Kurz, who said he spoke to Mr Macron immediately after the attack in Vienna, said the proposals would focus on tougher sentences for foreign fighters and supporters of the Islamic State and of other terrorist groups.

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