Austrian nationalists staying in Le Pen EU parliament group

A top official with Austria's nationalist Freedom Party says it's staying in a European Parliament group that also includes prominent euroskeptics Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands despite entering its country's new government.

The traditionally euroskeptic Freedom Party last month became the junior partner in a center-right coalition under conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who stresses the importance of a pro-European stance.

The Freedom Party is part of the European Parliament's overwhelmingly euroskeptic Europe of Nations and Freedom group. Party general secretary Harald Vilimsky told Friday's edition of daily Der Standard that the party is staying because it is "a good working basis for us."

He indicated, however, that things could change after Brexit, suggesting that "positive EU critics" could merge into one group.