Kosovo independence problematic but inevitable, Austria says

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 23:45 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Austrian reactions to Kosovo's declaration of independence on Sunday were largely positive, with only the right- wing Freedom Party denouncing the step as an "open violation of international law."

Hannes Swoboda, leader of the Austrian Social Democrats in the European Parliament said in a first reaction that Kosovo's independence was a "problematic step for the region, yet inevitable," finalizing the break-up of former Yugoslavia and marking a new order of the Balkans region.

He criticized Serbia's past inability to fully integrate Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population and warned that non-recognition would lead to further instability.

While the rightist Alliance For Austria's Future welcomed the events, Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Freedom Party, Austria's second right-wing party, urged the government not to recognize Kosovo.