Syndicated News from Austria
Tue, 21 May 2013 18:01:38 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 15:32:22 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 19:38:17 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 16:48:33 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 15:12:09 GMT
Austria adopts bank insolvency lawGlobal TimesThe Austrian government adopted a draft bank insolvency law on Tuesday that would give the state more powers to intervene early at struggling lenders. This would allow the government to head off worse problems that could require taxpayer support.
Tue, 21 May 2013 10:27:36 GMT
Huge debate over multilingualism in AustriaAustrian TimesHuge debate over multilingualism in Austria. Possible projects for a "multilingual oriented educational concept" have led to a debate in Vienna. The SP÷, ÷VP and FP÷ are currently discussing the two sides of the issue: "multilingualism as a chance" and ...and more »
Tue, 21 May 2013 16:47:47 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 13:15:45 GMT
Tue, 21 May 2013 19:55:40 GMT
Moody's affirms Kommunalkredit Austria's Baa3/P-3 ratingsMoodys.com (press release) (registration)Frankfurt am Main, May 21, 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed at Baa3 the senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings of Kommunalkredit Austria AG (KA). At the same time, the rating agency lowered KA's baseline credit assessment (BCA ...and more »
Tue, 21 May 2013 14:21:30 GMT
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Results 1 - 10 of Headlines for Austria
Sunday, September 8th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
Three members of Austria‚Äôs far-right Freedom Party -- Vice President Susanne Riess-Passer, Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser and Transport Minister Mathias Reichhold -- resigned Sept. 8 and 9 due to a tax cut dispute with party founder Joerg Haider. The party‚Äôs parliamentary speaker joined these members in resigning from his post as well, and the split caused conservative Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel to call for early elections.
The four officials comprised the most PR-friendly batch of leaders the Freedom Party could muster, as Haider -- who has caused controversy with his sympathetic remarks about the Third Reich -- had been forced to give up his chairmanship in order for the party to be admitted into the government coalition. But he has remained its dominant personality since the party‚Äôs foundation in the 1970s.
As representatives of the junior partner in Austria‚Äôs governing coalition, the Freedom Party‚Äôs ministers have been unable to dictate the direction of government policy. And Haider has progressively upped his criticism of them in recent months, as well as formed a wedge between himself and the ministers by discussing party strategy and policy with others -- including Schuessel -- without notifying Riess-Passer.
The break became a full breach last week when the ministers insisted that the emergency costs of dealing with last month‚Äôs catastrophic floods throughout Europe would necessitate delaying promised tax cuts. Haider, who led the successful October 1999 election campaign that saw the Freedom Party garner 27 percent of the vote, disagreed.
The back-and-forth tussling between Riess-Passer, the former official chair of the Freedom Party, and Haider, the de facto head, ended with Riess-Passer‚Äôs resignation. Schuessel, long fed up with the Freedom Party‚Äôs unpredictability, promptly announced he would recommend his own party withdraw from the governing coalition.
The likely snap elections that could take place in November set the stage for an electoral showdown between the disorganized Freedom Party, Schuessel‚Äôs center-right People‚Äôs Party and the opposition Greens and Social Democrats. A recent Gallup poll gave the Social Democrats 37 percent of voter support, followed by the People‚Äôs Party with 29 percent, the Freedom Party with 20 percent and the Greens with 12 percent.
Before the Freedom Party gained a seat at the government table, a coalition between the Social Democrats and the People‚Äôs Party ruled Austria for most of the post-WWII period. A re-occurrence of such a development, or a Social Democrats/Green coalition, is the likely outcome of the snap elections.
Although Haider is a shoo-in to be re-elected as chairman at the Freedom Party‚Äôs Oct. 20 convention, since there are no credible alternatives, the loss of four leaders will make it very difficult for him to pull his party back together in time to make a strong showing.
That is very good news for the rest of Europe. Whoever wins the next round of elections will be the voice for Austria as the European Union accepts 10 new states in 2004. A Chancellor Haider would almost assuredly veto the expansion on principle. The other three parties support the expansion, albeit with qualifications.
In the mid-term, the Freedom Party will continue to follow the path of other nationalist movements in Western democracies. Like New Zealand First, Australia‚Äôs One Nation and France‚Äôs National Front, the Freedom Party has had its moment in the sun, but it has failed to directly shape policies at the national level. Of the other three, only New Zealand First holds any seats in the national parliament.
But the likely evisceration of the Freedom Party‚Äôs official representation in the parliament in November does not mean nationalist issues have disappeared from Austria‚Äôs political dialogue. Haider needs time to regroup, and his political history clearly shows that his party will be back in the spotlight in the future.
The only way his political opponents could truly weaken him permanently would be to co-opt his followers. But while French President Jacques Chirac and Australian Prime Minister John Howard have proven quite slick in their adoption of nationalist rhetoric (and policy) to absorb the far right into their own more mainstream parties, that appears less likely in Austria.
Only the center-right People‚Äôs Party could have a chance at making inroads in the right-wing community, but its past failure to do just that allowed the Freedom Party to get into power in the first place.
Haider may be down, but he most certainly will be back. And with the more moderate elements of his party now on the outs, the Freedom Party‚Äôs loudest and proudest days may be yet to come.