Police water cannons face a demonstration against Austria's coalition government in front of Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
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Hundreds of police sealed off part of central Vienna against protesters Monday as Austria became the only Western European country with a far-right party in power, but demonstrations against the swearing-in proved small and largely peaceful.This time, police cleared a large area around the head of state's office, keeping several thousand protesters about 100 meters away in a nearby square.The two parties' coalition deal hands control of much of Austria's security apparatus to the FPO, which came third in the election with 26 percent.Other EU countries imposed sanctions on Austria in 2000 in protest at the FPO coming to power.Police said 1,500 officers were deployed in Vienna to deal with the protests, many of which converged near Van der Bellen's office. People marched peacefully, carrying placards saying "Nazis out" and chanting "Strache is a fascist". Police put the number of protesters at 5,000-6,000 and said they had made three arrests.
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