Austrian president ends term, regrets British vote on EU

Austrian President Heinz Fischer has ended his term, temporarily leaving official duties in the hands of the country's three parliamentary presidents pending a rerun of elections to succeed him.

One of the parliamentary presidents is right-winger Norbert Hofer, who narrowly lost to a left-leaning candidate in May voting. The rerun was ordered by Austria's Constitutional Court after claims by Hofer's party that the elections were skewed by significant irregularities.

Hofer has said a referendum on Austria's EU membership may be needed if the European Union fails to devolve some powers to national governments.

Fischer, in his farewell speech Friday, called Britain's EU exit "very regrettable and short-sighted," describing the European Union as "irreplaceable."