Austria. Shortly after New Year, Austria was given a new government. The deadlock after the parliamentary elections in October was resolved when the Social Democratic SPÖ and the conservative ÖVP formed a so-called large coalition. SPÖ had won the election over the previous ruling party ÖVP by a small margin. Together, the two parties had 134 of the 183 seats in the National Council, Parliament’s lower house. They received seven ministerial posts each. New Chancellor became Social Democrat Alfred Gusenbauer.
- According to abbreviationfinder: AT is the 2-letter acronym for the country of Austria.
According to CountryAAH, Vienna is the capital city of Austria. The coalition settlement meant that SPÖ had to withdraw its election promise to drop the fees for university studies. Instead, students were given the opportunity to perform 60 hours of community service per semester to avoid paying. A tax cut that the Social Democrats had promised was also taken care of in the future. In addition, SPÖ was forced to abandon the promise to withdraw the order of 18 Eurofighter fighter aircraft.
In April, however, new information appeared which seemed to confirm the rumors of corruption in connection with the 2002 aircraft acquisition. The deal, worth € 2 billion, was the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. According to the suspicions, bribes would have been paid to a company owned by the Air Force Chief’s wife. Air Force commander Erich Wolf was suspended from his post and Defense Minister Norbert Darabos warned that the purchase could be torn down. At the end of the year, a preliminary investigation into the aircraft business was initiated against a businessman who was married to a former ÖVP minister.
Former President Kurt Waldheim, who was also UN Secretary-General, passed away in June in his home in Vienna. Waldheim was the UN chief in 1972–81. When he was running for presidential election for the ÖVP in 1986, it was discovered that he had perpetrated information about his past as an officer in a German federation during the Second World War. Accusations of conspiring with Nazis made him internationally isolated during his time as president. An international commission stated that he had not committed any war crimes but considered that he was fully aware of the abuses committed in the Balkans where he was stationed. Waldheim did not run for re-election when his term expired in 1992.
In June, Parliament adopted a proposal that reduced the voting age in national elections to 16 years, the lowest in any EU country. At the same time, the term of office was extended from four to five years.
Austria weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 9 ° C and 20 ° C can be expected over the next three months. It gets warmest in May in Klagenfurt, while March is noticeably cooler in Vienna. The temperatures in Vienna are between 9 and 20 ° C, in Salzburg between 10 and 19 ° C and in Klagenfurt between 10 and 20 ° C.
In March it rains on 7 (Vienna) to 11 days (Salzburg), in April on 7 (Vienna) to 12 days (Salzburg) and in May on 8 (Vienna) to 13 days (Salzburg).
In the period from March to May , the sun shines on average between 4 and 7 hours a day. The sunniest weather in Vienna is in May, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.
Settle with the past
Social Democrat Heinz Fischer won the presidential election in 2004. Thomas Klestil, who through his two six-year terms got good goals for the job of repairing the damage following the revelations of predecessor Kurt Waldheim’s Nazi past, died of heart attack shortly before Fischer’s inauguration. The federal election in 2006 brought the Social Democrats back into the position as the largest party, with around 36 percent, clamoring for the Conservatives. The FPÖ, which the year before was again split into a clearer anti-immigration hostile and a more liberalist party, was now out of government discussions. The new coalition is led by SPÖ’s Alfred Gusenbauer.
During the ÖVP / FPÖ period, Austrian policy is considered to have turned to the right in asylum and immigration matters. At the same time, the pension system and other welfare policies were tightened; reforms that triggered the first general strike since the 1950s and the largest mass demonstrations ever.
The settlement of the past was a theme of Austrian publicity, even at the beginning of the new century. The prohibition against denying the existence of gas chambers and the Holocaust was applied in several lengthy court proceedings. At the 60th anniversary of the Second Republic in 2006, President Heinz Fischer ruled “as an established truth” that Austria was not a victim, but a practitioner during World War II.
Abduction and abuse cases
Two serious abduction and assault cases that rolled up shook both Austria and the outside world and led to multi-level debate; possible features of the social structure were one of the topics. In 2006, 18-year-old Natascha Kampusch managed to escape from her kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, who had held her captive for over eight years. He committed suicide immediately after the escape.
Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison for the crime that was rolled up in 2008. For 24 years, he kept his daughter Elizabeth locked in a basement bunker under the family’s house, where he had seven children with her; three of them had lived their entire lives in captivity.
Right radical progress
In the summer of 2008, the Christian Democratic Party broke the ÖVP with its coalition partner, the Social Democratic SPÖ. The background was a change in the SPÖ’s EU policy, in which the party would now submit all treaty issues to the referendum and no longer be decided by the National Assembly; internal tensions in the party had been intensified following the vote in which Irish voters set foot for the Lisbon Treaty.
New elections were held in September, just two years after the last election. Here, both SPÖ and ÖVP achieved their weakest results since 1945, respectively 30 and 26 per cent. In December, however, the two traditionally dominant parties in Austrian politics formed a new coalition government, now under the leadership of SPÖ’s Werner Faymann. The two largest radical immigration-critical parties had the greatest progress in the election, ending up a total of 29 percent of the vote – 43 percent in the electorate under 40 years. For the first time, young people between the ages of 16 and 18 could also vote in this election. The right-wing radical figure for many years, Jörg Haider, lost his life in a car accident shortly after the election, and 25,000 people attended the funeral in Klagenfurt in the state of Carinthia.
Immigration wave and Ibiza affair
In 2015, the Austrian Kernel government (SPÖ and ÖVP) supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy and welcomed around 90,000 refugees, most from Syria. However, due to strong political opposition, especially from the FPÖ, the government quickly turned and tightened in the period afterwards.
In the 2016 federal presidential election, Alexander Van der Bellen (former leader of the Die Grünen party) won by barely any margin over the right-wing FPÖ politician Norbert Hofer, during an election campaign in which immigration policy was one of the main issues. However, the election was declared invalid by the Austrian Constitutional Court for irregularities in the counting of advance votes. Van der Bellen won the re-election in December 2016 by a larger margin.
At the November 2017 parliamentary election, support for the party Die Grünen collapsed. ÖVP and FPÖ stepped forward and formed a bourgeois government under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. However, Sebastian Kurz’s bourgeois government fell in May 2019 after FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache had to withdraw from the government as a result of the so-called Ibiza affair. ended with success for ÖVP, Die Grüne and the Liberals (NEOS), and decline for FPÖ and the Social Democrats.
After a hundred days of negotiations, FPÖ and Die Grünen entered a coalition government, for the first time in Austria’s history. Sebastian Kurz once again led the government.