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Austria - Domestic Political News

Hypo-Group: Bavarian Lawsuit Against Carinthia

The balance sheet of the Hypo Group -nationalized in 2009- was artificially inflated, according to the accusation from Bavaria.

October 18, 2010

Supervision of Banks: Austria and Russia Intensify Cooperation

A Memorandum of Understanding just signed facilitates cooperation in banking supervision between the two countries.

October 18, 2010

Deal of the Social Partners on Immigration and Social Dumping

Introduction of the "Red-White-Red Card" to combat abuse in the labor market

October 17, 2010

WIFO-Boss Aiginger Calls Government for Economization

Aiginger claims for reforms in the tax system

October 17, 2010

Production Quota of OPEC Remains Stable

There was consensus in the Vienna-based OPEC. Members show their satisfaction with the current situation.

October 15, 2010

Property Tax is Not Unconstitutional

Property tax is constitutionally unobjectionable; concerns about unit values for calculation of income tax for foundations are however maintained for now.

October 15, 2010

Higher Tolls for Trucks Likely

Higher toll rates in the EU countries are likely due to noise, air and traffic disturbances.

October 15, 2010

Mineral Oil Tax: A Cash Cow for the Finance Minister

State revenues for the mineral oil tax have risen steadily since 2000. At that time, motorists paid 2.726 billion euro; this year it will be 3.9 billion euro.

October 15, 2010

Stability Pact with Federal States Has Never Been Met

Deficits of the federal states were too high already since 2001, as well as the deficits of the federation. The surplus of the municipalities couldn´t offset them.

October 14, 2010

CEOs of Stock Exchange Alert: Vienna´s Taxation Plans Cast Investors out

The heads of Vienna´s stock exchange, Schaller and Bohl, fear that the introduction of capital and transactional taxes downgrades Austria´s capital market.

October 14, 2010

Global Financial Market System: Norbert Walter Urges for Regulation of Financial Markets

Economist Norbert Walter discussed world financial markets with Lower Austria Deputy Governor Sobotka and Hypo Lower Austria Chairman of the Board Harold at the HYPO Invest Club.

October 12, 2010

Wilhelm Molterer: Management Consultant Since Early October

Former ÖVP Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Wilhelm Molterer (55) started working as a management consultant. Since early October, his EuroAdvisory GmbH based at Mahler Road 11, is operative in the Vienna city center .

October 12, 2010

Vienna's Municipal Election: SPÖ Loses Absolute Majority, FPÖ is Triumphant

The SPÖ achieves 44.3% at the election. The FPÖ can double its share of votes and comes in second, with 27%. The ÖVP and the Greens show losses.

October 11, 2010

Asfinag: Toll Revenues for 1.63 Bllion Euro in 2010

The motorway vignette will bring the state-owned motorway company Asfinag 350 million euro this year, truck tolls one billion. Total revenues will be around 100 million above those of 2009, but debts increase by around 600 million.

October 8, 2010

Skylink: Board Changes at the Airport After Vienna Election

At Vienna Airport, the chairman of the supervisory board, Cristoph Herbst, is being talked about as successor to Ernest Gabmann(ÖVP). The Audit Court’s report on Skylink points to serious deficiencies.

October 7, 2010

Mandatory Community Service is Possible Legally

A mandatory community service to substitute military service in the event of the abolition of conscription, would be legally possible. Constitutional experts consider a compulsory community service not excluded by the Constitution.

October 7, 2010

Qualified Workforce: Austria’s Target is to Attract Skilled Immigrants

ÖAAB General Secretary Lukas Mandl: "Germany has long been an immigration country. Austria also has to become one. Austria’s target should be to attract skilled immigrants, after identifying the needs."

October 6, 2010

European Cities Monitor 2010 - Vienna is the biggest mover

According to Cushman & Wakefield research, this year Vienna is the biggest mover, rising up the ranking by six places to 22nd place.

October 5, 2010

SPÖ's Absolute Supremacy Wobbles in Vienna, According to Surveys

The SPÖ is threatened with the loss of the absolute majority in the Vienna-election on next Sunday, the FPÖ is likely to surpass 20%. Greens and ÖVP might register losses and the BZÖ might miss its entry into the municipal council.

October 4, 2010

Skylink: Position on the Report of the Audit Court

The contents of the Rechnungshof (Audit Court, RH) report is said to be prejudicial; the Airport Board will submit its opinion today.

October 4, 2010

Post Boss Pölzl 3 Months prior to the Liberalization

Post Boss Pölzl allegedly looks ahead with confidence to free competition, even for traditional letters.

October 1, 2010

New Connection Between Mandarin Group and Karl-Heinz Grasser

Grasser invested money for his mother in law. According to reports, the connection between the Caribbean offshore company Mandarin and the ex-finance minister has been proven.

October 1, 2010

Vienna now has its own Expat Center

In Vienna, the first Expat Center in Austria was opened. The project was handled by the Vienna Business Agency (former WWFF).

September 30, 2010

EU: Austria's Actual Net Contribution has Risen to 342 Million Euro

The net contribution to the EU rose again last year. Poland, with 6.5 billion euro is for the first time the biggest net recipient. Germany remains the biggest net payer with 8.1 billion euro.

September 28, 2010

BayernLB has to Wait 7 Years for 3.9 Billion from Carinthia

After the debacle of the Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA), the Bayerische Landesbank will have to wait up to 7 years for the repayment of the 3.9 billion euro. The repayment plan provides for this period.

September 28, 2010

“GmbH light” Coming in Early 2011

The minimum capital will amount to 10,000 euro. Currently, the Amtsblatt (Official Journal) is still reluctant to reduce its fees for mandatory publications.

September 28, 2010

Elections in Styrya: SPÖ manages to claim first place, just.

The SPÖ was able to claim the first place after a thrilling count against the ÖVP. The FPÖ was able to double results as compared to 2005, and gets into the Landtag again.

September 27, 2010

Elsner Provides Help in Finding Missing Bawag Funds

Former BAWAG CEO wants to clarify the fate of 1.7 billion euro of failed investments allegedly made by the speculator Wolfgang Flöttl to the detriment of BAWAG.

September 24, 2010

Mitterlehner Meets Hendry: Development of Renewable Energies

The Finance Minister met with the British Energy Minister Charles Hendry for talks about the energy policy in the EU, the development of renewable energy sources and increasing the security of energy supply.

September 21, 2010

Siemens Austria: Corruption Prosecution Expands Investigation

According to a media report, the prosecution has questioned two ex-managers of the group on suspicion of infidelity. They allegedly bribed business partners in South Eastern Europe.

September 21, 2010

ÖIAG: ÖVP vs. SPÖ

Schieder and Rudas demand dissolution of the state holding ÖIAG, Finance Minister Pröll, on the other hand, wants to “strengthen” it.

September 17, 2010

CESEE Bank Conference: Joint Supervisory Academy in Vienna

Finance Minister Josef Pröll wants to create common standards for the CEE region with an Eastern Bank Supervisory Academy in Vienna.

September 17, 2010

Austrian Post Refurbishes its Board

ÖIAG boss Peter Michaelis gives green light for the refurbishment of the Post’s board. Meanwhile, rumors are growing that the changes will not only affect the parcels sector.

September 16, 2010

ÖIAG Boss Michaelis Under Pressure

ÖIAG Boss Peter Michaelis considers that the "campaign" against him evidences that "the actual work of ÖIAG provides no target for criticism." He considers his 700,000-euro salary as justified.

September 15, 2010

FMA and OeNB Welcome the Basel III Agreement

The package draws the right lessons from the financial crisis and provides for reasonable transition periods.

September 14, 2010

Gambling - Awarding of Austrian concessions not in line with EU laws

After Germany, the domestic monopoly must also be abolished. According to the EU Court of Justice, the awarding of the concession to Casinos Austria is against EU laws due to the lack of a call for tenders.

September 9, 2010

Kommunalkredit back in black

Kommunalkredit AG earned €7.5m ($9.5) net, in the first half of 2010. It is the first period since the split in November 2009; a comparison with the previous year is therefore limited.

August 30, 2010

Verbund - Fight over capital increase further delayed

The controversy over Verbund capital is likely to prolong. Infrastructure Minister Doris Bures will continue to insist on her initial position.

August 26, 2010

Causa ÖBB - Verbund as top priority

Verbund AG wants to increase its equity, the federal government as majority shareholder will support the plan, which will be discussed, in tomorrows Council of Ministers.

August 23, 2010

OIAG to become an infrastructure holding

The OIAG aims to become an infrastructure holding company. The federal real estate company (BIG), Verbund (energy), Asfinag (infrastructure) and parts of the ÖBB (railway) will be slowly integrated in an ÖIAG structure.

July 23, 2010

Banks' equity - "Basel III costs 46 000 jobs"

The stricter rules for the equity of banks will reduce lending by up to 20 percent, says the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna.

July 21, 2010

Mitterlehner calling for judicious austerity measures

Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner warns EU countries about excessive savings. "Instead of linear cuts, you should save intelligently. Otherwise, domestic consumption is decreased too much," said Mitterlehner.

July 19, 2010

Wage dumping

It is unusual that the former Austrian Trade Union Federation President Rudolf Hundstorfer finalised a draft law without a vote of social partners.

July 16, 2010

Defying EU fusion reactors

According to calculations of the Green Party Federal Councillor Elisabeth Kerschbaum the project costs Austria €158m.

July 15, 2010

Stress tests - according to Cernko, Austrian Banks in the bottom third

Referring to speculation according to which Austrian banks with their relatively low equity ratio should not perform that well, Bank Austria CEO Willibald Cernko said "If one considers capital only, they will be at the top of the bottom third."

July 15, 2010

Union speaks of "death blow" for Austrian Railway

In the context of the forthcoming increase of capital of Verbund hydro electrical plants could be bought from the Austrian Railway Network ÖBB.

July 15, 2010

Stress tests could be price-sensitive information

At the political level it is fiercely debated how detailed the publication of the stress test should be. The FMA currently tests whether the stress test results are stock market relevant, compulsory publications.

July 14, 2010

Nowotny - raising the "retirement age"

Higher life expectancy, rising deficits: Austrians should therefore delay retirement, says National Bank's CEO Nowotny.

July 13, 2010

Transaction tax - OECD European solo attempt

According to Jeffrey Owens, head of the OECD's tax department, a transaction tax only makes sense if it relates to the financial centres on a global scale.

July 12, 2010

Crisis causing private bankruptcy

Unemployment and less income: more than 50,000 people last year turned to a debt counselling bodies.

July 12, 2010