Austria

Austrian far-right FPÖ loses massively in parliamentary elections

By Markus Salzmann, 1 October 2019

Yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Austria resulted in considerable losses for the right-wing extremist Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the social-democratic SPÖ.

Election in Austria: Freedom Party demonstrates its close links to the Identitarian movement

By Markus Salzmann, 16 September 2019

The speech delivered by an experienced FPÖ official to a group of several dozen neo-Nazis, shortly before the election, sends a clear signal.

Conservatives and Social Democrats court the far-right Austrian Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 15 August 2019

Several opinion polls show the far-right FPÖ and its lead candidate with a clear advantage, while the establishment bourgeois parties are running about equal.

Austrian ruling class closes ranks following collapse of government

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 7 June 2019

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen swore in a “government of experts” Monday to run government affairs until new parliamentary elections planned for this autumn.

Austrian Chancellor Kurz toppled following vote of no confidence

By Markus Salzmann, 30 May 2019

All of the parties in parliament are engaged in bitter infighting, but there is no avenue within the political system for the working class to assert its own interests.

Austria’s “Ibiza Affair” and the rightward shift of the political establishment

By Johannes Stern, 24 May 2019

The very same political forces who are now crying foul over far-right Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache bear chief responsibility for the projected entry of a record number of right-wing extremists into the European Parliament.

Austrian government falls over video exposing corruption of far-right politician Christian Strache

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 21 May 2019

The Berlin-Paris axis’s hypocritical opposition to Strache and the far-right is based on their own imperialist agenda.

Christchurch terrorist donated to right-wing Austrian Identitarian movement

By Markus Salzmann, 3 April 2019

Clear political and ideological ties exist between the Australian fascist Brenton Tarrant, the Austrian Identitarian movement and the governing Freedom Party.

Thousands of Austrian metal workers on strike

By Markus Salzmann, 21 November 2018

Metal workers are striking for higher wages and against the tightening of labour laws by the right-wing government.

Austria: 100,000 demonstrate in Vienna against labour “reforms”

By Markus Salzmann, 5 July 2018

Last Saturday saw the biggest demonstration in the Austrian capital since the 2003 protests against pension reforms.

Far-right party enters Austrian government

By Peter Schwarz, 19 December 2017

Politicians with close ties to the neo-Nazi scene and ultra-right circles now wield power in Austria.

Right-wing extremists enter government in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 18 December 2017

In a country where the ruling class resorted to dictatorship in the early 1930s, and largely backed the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the shadow of the past has returned.

Right-wing government takes shape in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 15 November 2017

At the centre of the government’s programme will be a drastic package of austerity measures and anti-immigrant policies.

Austria: Conservatives discuss coalition with the extreme right

By Markus Salzmann, 1 November 2017

Ten days after the Austrian parliamentary elections, the conservative Austrian People’s Party has begun negotiations to form government with the far-right Freedom Party.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

Far-right poised to enter government following Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 16 October 2017

The rightward shift in Austria is symptomatic of Europe as a whole. In the Alpine republic, with its close to 9 million residents, the full extent of the rot of bourgeois politics is on display.

Disinformation campaign scandal shakes Austrian Social Democrats

By Markus Salzmann, 9 October 2017

The SPÖ’s policy adviser was caught running two fake Facebook pages in a disinformation campaign against the lead candidate of the conservative Austrian People’s Party.

Austrian Social Democrats open to coalition with right-wing extremist Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 26 June 2017

The SPÖ governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, declared: “We are in a situation where the wind is not blowing from the left, but coming from the right.”

Palace coup in the Austrian People’s Party

By Peter Schwarz, 16 May 2017

On Sunday, the Presidium of the Austrian People’s Party elected 30-year-old Sebastian Kurz as the new party leader, granting him dictatorial powers.

Austrian coalition government adopts right-wing programme

By Markus Salzmann, 9 February 2017

At the centre of the grand coalition’s programme are attacks on refugees and asylum seekers, an easing of labour laws and the abolition of basic democratic rights.

Far-right candidate defeated in Austrian presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 5 December 2016

The former chairman of the Austrian Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen, won against Norbert Hofer from the Freedom Party by a large margin.

Austrian presidential election: Social Democrats court the far-right Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 29 November 2016

Just days before the presidential election, the Austrian Social Democratic Party has paved the way for cooperation with the Freedom Party.

Austrian high court overturns presidential election

By Peter Schwarz, 2 July 2016

The Constitutional Court in Vienna has ruled that the second round of Austria’s presidential election must “be completely re-run throughout Austria.”

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party challenges presidential election result

By Markus Salzmann, 14 June 2016

Austria’s highest court must decide within four weeks whether the presidential election must be repeated in full, partially, or not at all.

Lessons of the Austrian presidential election

By Peter Schwarz, 24 May 2016

The Austrian presidential election narrowly avoided an outcome in which, for the first time since 1945, an extreme right-wing politician would have entered the highest office in a Western European state.

Close race in Austrian presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 23 May 2016

After the casting of 4.4 million votes, the two candidates are separated by only 3,000, according to projected results.

Austrian Social Democrats name former rail executive to head party and government

By Markus Salzmann, 14 May 2016

The self declared “non-political” Christian Kern stands for radical austerity measures and closer collaboration with the far-right FPÖ.

Austrian Chancellor Faymann resigns

By Markus Salzmann, 10 May 2016

After Faymann’s resignation, the Social Democrats move even closer to the far-right Freedom Party.

Austria abolishes right to asylum

By Markus Salzmann, 2 May 2016

The Austrian government has responded to the success of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) in the first round of the presidential election by embracing its far-right politics.

Far-right victory in Austrian presidential elections: A warning

By Peter Schwarz, 27 April 2016

The responsibility for the rise of the far-right lies with the main establishment parties, as well as the trade unions and pseudo-left groups who cover their backs.

Austria’s far-right Freedom Party wins first round of presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 26 April 2016

The politics and the election campaign of the two government parties, the Social Democratic Party and the conservative People's Party, played into the hands of the FPÖ.

Austria rejects all refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 7 April 2016

The Austrian government has announced it will turn away refugees at the border after conducting summary hearings.

Austria closes its borders to refugees

By Marianne Arens, 26 January 2016

As Europe is firmly in the grip of winter, one government after another is closing its borders.

Far Right FPÖ doubles vote in Austrian regional election

By Markus Salzmann, 6 October 2015

The Social Democrats were reduced to third strongest political party in Upper Austria, behind the conservative Austrian People’s Party and the far right Austrian Freedom Party.

Austria plans to close border as migrants surge across Europe

By Alex Lantier, 7 September 2015

The refugee crisis, the largest since World War II, is rooted in imperialist wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, waged by the United States and its allies in Europe.

Austrian government intensifies crackdown on refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 17 August 2015

Hundreds of refugees, many from the Middle East, have been camped out in searing heat in front of the main refugee centre near Vienna.

Austrian Social Democrats form coalition with far-right party

By Markus Salzmann, 12 June 2015

Less than a week after elections in the Austrian state of Burgenland, the Social Democrats concluded a coalition agreement with the far-right Freedom Party.

Banking group HGAA stokes conflict between Vienna and Munich

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2015

The decision of the Austrian government to no longer pay the debts of banking group HGAA has provoked conflicts in Bavaria.

Germany and Austria discriminate against Kosovo refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 27 February 2015

In the course of the past six months, 50,000 people have fled Kosovo due to catastrophic economic and social conditions.

Austria: Far-right FPÖ gains support in European elections

By Markus Salzmann, 4 June 2014

Compared to 2009, the party led by Christian Strache increased its support by 7 percent and won 19.7 percent of the vote.

Australian Treasury chief calls for “hard policy decisions” on spending cuts

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2014

Treasury Secretary Parkinson demands the resetting of “community expectations” on health care and welfare.

Austrian grand coalition government intensifies austerity

By Markus Salzmann, 27 December 2013

The recently elected social democratic-conservative grand coalition has agreed to step up spending cuts and austerity measures.

Grand coalition in Austria plans major spending cuts

By Markus Salzmann, 23 November 2013

The Social Democrats and the right-wing Austrian People’s Party have agreed on deep spending cuts, although coalition talks are still ongoing.

Governing parties suffer losses in Austrian elections

By Markus Salzmann, 5 October 2013

Over 30 percent of the electorate in Austria voted for parties of the extreme right.

Austria on the eve of parliamentary elections

By Marcus Salzmann, 28 September 2013

Like the recent federal election in Germany, there is little to distinguish between the competing parties in Austria.

Austrian Social Democrats suffer massive losses in local elections

By Markus Salzmann, 17 May 2013

In regional elections in Salzburg, the Social Democrats and the Austrian Peoples’ Party recorded the largest loss of support since the Second World War.

Austrian billionaire Stronach launches new right-wing party

By Markus Salzmann, 6 December 2012

Given the increasing economic and social tensions in Austria, Frank Stronach stridently represents the interests of the financial elite and receives the support of business circles.

Corruption scandals rock Austrian politics

By Markus Salzmann, 17 August 2012

A series of corruption scandals, mostly involving former right-wing government officials, is currently dominating political life in Austria.

Austria: Poll shows far-right FP as strongest party

By Markus Salzmann, 9 June 2011

According to a poll conducted in late May, the ultra-right Freedom Party of Austria (FP), led by Heinz-Christian Strache, has the highest level of support in Austria.

Australian Labor government, Greens hail imperialist assault on Libya

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 March 2011

The entire political and media establishment has thrown its support behind the drive to oust the right-wing Gaddafi dictatorship and replace it with a client government amenable to the strategic and economic priorities of US and European imperialism.

The Bavarian state bank’s corruption scandal

By Michael Schneider and Markus Salzmann, 26 January 2011

Caught in a whirlpool of corruption, businessmen and politicians involved in the BayernLB scandal are conspiring to make the working class pay for the state-owned bank’s losses.

Austrian government adopts austerity budget

By Markus Salzmann, 9 November 2010

At the end of October the Austrian grand coalition adopted a rigid austerity budget which involves massive social cuts.

First “bad bank” set up for Eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann and Wolfgang Weber, 30 January 2010

A so-called “bad bank” for heavily indebted East European countries had been established in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Massive bank scandal: Austrian right-winger Jörg Haider’s legacy

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2009

A bank scandal in Bavaria reveals the close ties with extreme right-wing forces in Austria.

Politicians, media strive to contain student protests in Austria and Germany

By Johannes Stern, 25 November 2009

Influential figures in political, business and media circles are seeking to use the political confusion in current student demonstrations to stifle the protests.

Student protests continue in Austria

By Marius Heuser, 18 November 2009

Austrian students have occupied lecture halls at universities throughout the country to protest against deteriorating conditions and increasing commercialism in the country’s education system.

Student protests in Austria

By Markus Salzmann and Johannes Stern, 7 November 2009

Students in Austria are engaging in strikes and protest actions with the central demand: “More money for education, not the banks and corporations.”

Social Democrats suffer historical defeat in Upper Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2009

As in neighbouring Germany, the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) suffered a historic defeat in recent state elections, receiving just 24.5 percent of the votes cast, its worst showing since 1945.

Austria: Collapse for Social Democrats in Vorarlberg state election

By Markus Salzmann, 26 September 2009

In the election in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg last Sunday the Socialist Party (SPÖ) obtained its worst result in the history of the post-war Austrian Second Republic.

Australia: Global institutions tell Rudd government to cut spending

By Mike Head, 2 July 2009

Warning of continuing “weak” and “fragile” conditions in the Australian and world economy, global financial institutions have insisted that the Rudd government must make deep spending cuts in coming years to pay off mounting debts.

Twenty years after the collapse of Stalinism

European politicians stand reality on its head at Vienna gathering

By Markus Salzmann, 5 June 2009

Just days before the European elections June 7, representatives from politics and business met in Vienna to celebrate 20 years since the fall of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe.

Austria: Socialist Party in free-fall in regional elections

By Markus Salzmann, 7 March 2009

Extreme-right parties are exploiting the growing political vacuum in Austria. Last weekend’s regional elections ended in a debacle for the social-democratic Austrian Socialist Party (SPÖ).

Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider dies in car crash

By Markus Salzmann, 16 October 2008

Jörg Haider, the governor of the Austrian province of Carinthia and chairman of the extreme right Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) died in a car accident in Klagenfurt in the early hours of October 11.

Austrian elections: rightist forces benefit from decline of social democracy

By Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2008

The so-called People’s Parties were given a drubbing in the elections to the Austrian parliament held last weekend, with the conservative People’s Party and the Social Democrats both receiving their worst ever results.

Austria: End of the grand coalition

By Markus Salzmann, 18 July 2008

Last week, the vice-chancellor and leader of the conservative People’s Party, William Molterer, announced his party would no longer be collaborating with its coalition partners—the Austrian Social Democratic Party. His statement effectively brought to an end the grand coalition under social democratic chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer after just one and a half years.

Austrian grand coalition in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 12 March 2008

Following months of conflict in the Austrian government coalition, a premature end of the coalition between the Social Democrat Party (SPÖ) and the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) seems increasingly likely. A debate has erupted within the SPÖ over how to deal with the extreme right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), with a layer of the social-democratic leadership now favouring a pact with the ultra-rightists.

ISSE to hold first meeting in Vienna

By our correspondent, 15 June 2007

On Sunday, June 17, the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) is holding its first-ever meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The meeting offers Austrian readers of the World Socialist Web Site and others an opportunity to discuss a socialist answer to the crisis of global capitalism with representatives of the ISSE.

Austria: 100 days of the grand coalition government

Militarization and social redistribution of wealth continue

By Dieter Blumenfeld and Markus Salzmann, 24 April 2007

The grand coalition government in Vienna comprising the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) and Austrian Peoples Party (ÖVP) has been in office for 100 days. At the beginning of January, the SPÖ- ÖVP coalition replaced a government made up of the conservative ÖVP and the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). The FPÖ was itself later replaced by the split-off Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), led by Jörg Haider.

Grand coalition government formed in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 20 January 2007

Three months after the Austrian parliamentary elections in October 2006, a new government has been sworn in. While Social Democrat Alfred Gusenbauer has replaced Wolfgang Schüssel of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) as chancellor, everything otherwise remains the same. Gusenbauer leads a grand coalition that is dominated by the ÖVP and that will consistently pursue the policies of its right-wing predecessor.

Austria: Massive losses for the governing People’s Party

By Marcus Salzmann, 13 October 2006

The conservative Austrian People’s Party (APP), led by Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, suffered its biggest ever losses in national parliamentary elections held last Sunday. It received just 34.2 percent of the vote. This represents a loss for the APP of approximately 8 percent, or over 550,000 votes, compared to the last elections in 2002.

Conservative coalition faces widespread unpopularity

Outcome uncertain on eve of Austrian elections

By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2006

According to recent opinion polls, the outcome of the Austrian National Council elections due to be held October 1 is entirely unpredictable. The current conservative government consisting of a coalition of the Austrian People’s Party (APP) and the Alliance for Austria’s Future (AAF), a splinter group formed by Jörg Haider following a split in the ultra-right Austrian Freedom Party (FP), has recorded virtually unprecedented levels of unpopularity amongst Austrian voters.

The Bawag affair and the decay of the Austrian trade unions

By Markus Salzmann, 12 June 2006

A scandal involving the trade union-owned Labour and Economics Bank (Bawag) has revealed the true extent of the rottenness of the Austrian trade union movement. The Austrian trade union federation (OEGB) is currently experiencing the deepest crisis in its more-than-50-year history.

Austrian state elections: a clear rebuff of government attacks on social welfare

By Markus Salzmann, 24 October 2005

Regional elections in the Austrian states of Styria and Burgenland on October 2 and 9 resulted in a dramatic loss of support for the conservative and extreme-right parties ruling in Vienna—the Austrian People’s Party (APP) and the Alliance for Austria’s Future (AAF), Jörg Haider’s splinter group from the ultra-right Austrian Freedom Party (FP). The federal opposition, the social democratic Austrian Socialist Party (ASP), was able to claim victory in both states.

Austria: behind the split in the Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann and Ulrich Rippert, 20 April 2005

Sharp conflicts within the right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FP) have ended in an open split. On April 4, former FP chairman and Carinthian state leader Jörg Haider appeared before the press in Vienna and announced the establishment of a new organisation with the name “Alliance for Austria’s Future” (AAF).

Austria: Social democrats form coalition in Carinthia with Haider

By Markus Salzmann and Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2004

Just one week after state elections in Carinthia, the southernmost state in Austria, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) has agreed to form a governing coalition with the extreme-right Freedom Party (FP) led by Jörg Haider.

Following recent local elections

Conservatives and Greens form coalition government in Upper Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 19 November 2003

Only weeks after regional elections in Upper Austria, the conservative Austrian Peoples Party (ÖVP) and the Green Party have agreed to form a local coalition government. This decision will accelerate these parties joining forces on a national level.

State elections in Upper Austria and Tyrol

Austrian voters reject government’s attacks on welfare state

By Markus Salzmann, 25 October 2003

The regional elections in Upper Austria and Tyrol on September 28 were not only another disaster for the right-wing Liberal Party (FP), but also made apparent the widespread rejection of the anti-social policies of right-wing/conservative ÖVP/FP (Austrian Peoples Party, Austrian Freedom Party) coalition government. These were the first elections following the pension cuts carried through by Chancellor Schüssel’s (OVP) government despite mass protests.

Austrian government imposes cuts in pensions

Right-wing regime ignores mass protests

By Markus Salzmann, 26 June 2003

In defiance of the largest strike and protest movement in 50 years, the right-wing government of Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel pushed massive cuts in the pension system through the Austrian parliament on June 18.

Austria’s biggest strike in 50 years

By Markus Salzmann, 12 May 2003

On May 5, plans by Vienna’s right-wing conservative government to implement drastic cuts in the pension system resulted in the first major political strike in Austria in over 50 years. About half a million people took part in the strike—far more than expected.

Austria: New government continues austerity policy

By Markus Salzmann, 19 March 2003

It is barely four months since the right-wing Freedom Party (FP) of Jörg Haider received a drubbing in the general election and lost nearly two thirds of its votes. But despite the outcome of the vote, Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel of the Austrian Peoples Party (ÖVP) has formed a new edition of the coalition with the FP.

Austria: Greens bid for coalition with conservative ÖVP

By Markus Salzmann, 7 January 2003

Following elections in November and the clear victory of the ruling ÖVP (conservative Austrian Peoples Party), Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel has been involved in continuous talks to find a coalition partner for the next four years.

Austria's right-wing Freedom Party riven by disputes

By Markus Salzmann, 30 May 2001

One year since its entry into the Austrian government, the ultra-right Freedom Party is in the midst of a sharp internal crisis.

Election in Vienna: Haider's anti-Semitic agitation backfires

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 April 2001

The election in the Austrian capital of Vienna, held Sunday, March 25, ended in a debacle for the extreme right Freedom Party (FPÖ). Vienna is both the capital of Austria and constitutionally the country's single most important state.

Austria's right-wing government marks one year in office

By Markus Salzmann and Ulrich Rippert, 14 February 2001

When the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) entered into the Vienna government a year ago, it was widely predicted that this step would draw the teeth of Jörg Haider's extreme right-wing party—infamous for its racist propaganda—and rein it in to the system of “democratic responsibility”. One year on, it is clear that precisely the opposite has occurred.

Austrian spying affair reveals close connections between Haider's Freedom Party and police

By Markus Salzmann, 24 November 2000

Jörg Haider's Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) had access to secret police data for many years. It used this in order to defame its political opponents and support its own xenophobic campaigns. It obtained access to the data via members of a sympathetic trade union, who were paid for their services. Alongside FPÖ strongman Haider, who also heads the Austrian state of Carinthia, other high-ranking party members are also suspected of having procured data illegally.

Austria's Kaprun railway disaster reveals lack of safety measures

By Richard Tyler, 16 November 2000

The terrible fire on the Kaprun funicular railway has exposed a criminal lack of safety procedures. The death toll now stands at 158. It is believed that 155 died in the tunnel. Poisonous fumes that poured out at the mountain top station engulfed three more.

Austria: heavy losses for Haider's party in provincial elections

By Marcus Salzmann, 31 October 2000

The results of the Steiermark (Styria) Province parliamentary elections have triggered a crisis in the Austrian federal government and within Jörg Haider's Freedom Party.

State racism in Austria

By Markus Salzman, 16 September 2000

On May 19 Imre B., a 35-year-old immigrant from Yugoslavia, was shot and killed by a police officer in the Vienna suburb of Penzing. Together with his companion Lajos S., Imre B. was stopped in his car by police officers in the course of a drug raid. Responding to the officers' demands, the two unarmed men raised their arms, whereupon Imre B. was shot down. No trace of drugs was found either in the car or on the persons of the two men.

European Union lifts sanctions against Austria

A blank cheque for Jörg Haider

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 September 2000

The 14 European Union governments lifted their sanctions against Austria on September 12.

Austria: Right-wing coalition government intensifies welfare cuts

By Markus Salzmann, 5 May 2000

The Austrian government formed by the conservative People's Party ( Volkspartei —ÖVP) and Jörg Haider's right-wing Freedom Party ( Freiheitliche Partei —FPÖ) is continuing the dismantling of the welfare system undertaken over the past 13 years by the previous coalition government run by the ÖVP and the Social Democrats (SPÖ).

Scabs begin training on Australian waterfront

By Terry Cook, 27 February 1998

Encouraged by the acquiescence of the trade union movement, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) has successfully begun training a strike-breaking force of scabs at Melbourne's Webb Dock, in the middle of Australia's largest industrial port.