Austria’s centre-left chancellor has said he will ask the EU to let local employers hire Austrians before other EU citizens, unless there are no suitable candidates.
Christian Kern made the pledge at the launch of a 10-year economic plan focussing on job creation.
“These eastern European countries are exporting their joblessness to Austria,” the Social Democrat said.
He was speaking in Wels, run by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).
Fears over immigration and unemployment have put the FPOe ahead in the polls.
The pledge is seen as a bid to win back support to the Social Democrats, who last year were eliminated in the first round of the presidential election, along with their traditional mainstream rivals, the centre-right People’s Party.
Mr Kern’s party is supported by roughly 27% of voters, polls suggest.