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Austria - Domestic Political News

Final Results of Austria Presidential Election - Alexander van der Bellen Becomes New President

700,000 votes from polling stations have now been counted. Alexander Van der Bellen has won ahead of his rival Norbert Hofer by 50.3 to 49.7 percent. Thus Alexander van der Bellen, who has the support of the Greens, will become the first Green President of the Republic of Austria.

May 23, 2016 · Updated: May 23, 2016; 16:55

Chancellor Faymann Resigns

Werner Faymann has been Chancellor of Austria and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) since 2008. Today he announced that he will retire from all of his posts in the coming days. He resigned arguing that the reason is the loss of the support of his own party in the wake of last month's presidential elections.

May 9, 2016

Minister of Justice Brandstetter Headed an Austrian Delegation to the U.S.

The Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. reports that Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter headed an Austrian delegation to the U.S. from January 28 to February 3, 2016. His visit included meetings with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, members of Congress, Facebook officials, as well as a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail.

March 4, 2016

Quality of Living - Vienna is still the Number One

Vienna again tops the quality of living survey in 2016. The results of the Mercer study show, for the seventh time in a row, that Vienna's approach to quality of living is internationally acknowledged. Vienna is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. London ranks 39th.

February 26, 2016

Richard Lugner to Run for Austrian President

The 83-year-old construction entrepreneur, millionaire and society figure Richard 'Mortar' Lugner says he is running for president of Austria. He wants to hold the highest office along with his 26-year-old German woman Cathy, a former Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in Cologne. For an official nomination Lugner should see about 6,000 signatures to collect.

February 10, 2016

International Organizations Criticize Austria for Restricting the Press Uncover Cases of Grievance

Courts should take public interest into account in cases against journalists, say representatives of OSCE and Austrian Forum Informationsfreiheit, following Dossier trespassing case in the province of Burgenland.

December 23, 2015

Burgenland to Be Pilot-Province for Courses on Values for Refugees

On the sidelines of a conference of experts on Integration of Austria's regional governments in Eisenstadt, Sebastian Kurz and Norbert Darabos announced a workshop cooperation between the Austrian Integration Fund (AIF) and the Federal Province of Burgenland: the AIF will offer workshops on integration for refugees and immigrants.

December 15, 2015

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Council of Ministers Places 27 New Diplomats at Head of Embassies

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to place 27 new Austrian diplomats at head of Austrian Embassies worldwide.

December 10, 2015

“Terrorism Cannot Be Justified by any Means and Stands in Clear Contradiction to Islam"

The President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Fuat Sanac, and Minister for Integration, Sebastian Kurz in a joint reaction vehemently condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris.

November 19, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

Humanitarian Crisis: OSCE Can Be Important Platform for Co-Operation

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today met refugees and representatives of local aid organizations at the Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), where he was briefed by Austria’s Interior Ministry and the Vienna police about their operations.

September 24, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Expat Insider: Country Report Austria - Safe & Sound

InterNations shares with you a detailed picture of life abroad in Austria: why people relocate, what their daily life is like, and how satisfied they are. Known for schnitzels, mountains, and bodybuilders turned governors, Austria has excellent rankings in the Quality of Life, Working Abroad, and Family Life Indices, but settling in isn't easy. They provide an in-depth country profile of Austria. Read on and find out what expatriate life in your dream destination Austria is actually like.

August 25, 2015

German Creditor Pool Brings EUR 1 Bln Action Against Heta Before Frankfurt Regional Court

The lawsuit demands almost EUR 1 billion and is brought in Frankfurt/Main against asset resolution company Heta. The creditor pool consists largely of German creditors which demand immediate repayment of bonds and promissory note loans.

July 16, 2015

Austrian Economy is Underperforming the Eurozone Average

Ernst & Young's latest analysis on the Eurozone forecasts that the Austrian economy is to grow 0.7% in 2015, underperforming the Eurozone as a whole for the second consecutive year. Investment is expected to remain subdued, while the contribution of exports will be only marginal as a consequence of the modest external environment.

June 24, 2015

European Forum Wachau: Political Leaders Discuss Europe's Limits

The European Forum Wachau is a European debate event and will be held this weekend at the Stift Göttweig in Lower Austria. The event was launched in 1995, the year of Austria's accession to the European Union. Participants of the conference titled “Has Europe reached its limits? Reflections on Europe’s future role on the global stage” will discuss topics such as, the EU as a security provider, the EU's new mode of regional cooperation and the EU and her neighbours.

June 12, 2015

Tolerance and Equality: Vienna Pride and Rainbow Parade

The 20th Rainbow Parade on Vienna’s Ringstrasse (20.6.) and the Vienna Pride (16.-21.6.) with the Pride Village on City Hall Square will set a sign for tolerance and equality.

May 29, 2015

OSCE Troika Urges Advancement in Political Process Aimed at Solving Crisis in Ukraine

Foreign Ministers Dačić, Steinmeier and Burkhalter called for the immediate establishment of Working Groups as provided for in the February 12 Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements and proposed by Special Representative Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini and the Trilateral Contact Group.

April 28, 2015

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Deputy Chief Monitor Alexander Hug to Visit Vienna

The Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, Alexander Hug, will visit Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 March.

March 5, 2015

Global Peace Index: Austria is Third Most Peaceful Country

The latest Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world. It identifies the most and least peaceful countries, trends in violence and conflict, and calculates the economic impact of violence. The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. New Zealand, Canada and Japan are the only non-European countries in the top ten.

March 4, 2015

Finance Ministry: "Fitch Downgrade has no Impact on Austria Rating"

In response to the rating announcement by rating agency Fitch, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance says, that the current Fitch rating has no impact on the Austria rating due to temporary debt increase.

February 20, 2015

Austrian Government Guarantees Stand at EUR 112.9 bn

Newly collected data by Statistics Austria on State guarantees (governmental contingent liabilities, potential obligations and assets) show guarantees of €112.9 bn at the end of 2013 (of which 52% are granted by the state and local government sectors).

February 10, 2015

Japanese Mizuho Bank Sets Up Office in Vienna

Mizuho Bank through its Dutch subsidiary has acquired the approval to open a branch in Vienna. The bank is looking to develop its business in CEE. Simultaneously the Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Austrian Business Agency for services in connection with the setup.

January 28, 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day: "European Jews again feeling anxious and uncertain about their future"

As people across the OSCE region commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, officials highlighted the importance for societies to stand firmly against the contemporary challenges of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance.

January 28, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - The City at a Glance

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 27, 2015

Does Abdullah's Death Improve Interreligious Dialogue?

Saudi King Abdullah is dead. Continuity is assured as Crown Prince Salman succeeds brother to the throne. Saudi Arabia is repeatedly being criticised for human rights violations. The case of internet activist Badawi caused in Vienna calls for the closure of the late King Abdullah Center for Interreligious Dialogue.

January 23, 2015

Celebrating 200 Years of the Congress of Vienna

Europe was reorganized at the Congress of Vienna exactly 200 years ago. Numerous princes, kings and two emperors gathered by the Danube for the negotiations. Two exiting exhibitions now provide insights into the events of 1814/15.

January 23, 2015

OSCE Permanent Council Prepares for Upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust remembrance was the focus of today's meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council at Vienna's Hofburg in light of the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January).

January 22, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - Areas of Strength

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 22, 2015

ECB Unleashes Quantitative Easing - How does it work?

Today, the ECB finally commenced on a large scale sovereign bond-buying programme. The €60bn monthly asset purchases include covered bonds and asset backed securities. Due to the flood of cheap money, the DAX was boosted. The index increased by up to one per cent to a record high of 10,399.67 points. Quantitative easing is a monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets. The aim is to stimulate an economy when standard monetary policy has become ineffective. How does it work?

January 22, 2015

Bandion Ortner Resigns from her Post at the Abdullah Center

It was the domestic political bombshell of the weekend: Ex-ÖVP Justice Minister Claudia Bandion-Ortner announced her withdrawal as the executive vice president of the controversial Abdullah Center in Vienna.

January 19, 2015

Austria has EU-Wide Most Franc Loans

In absolute terms, Austria has the most franc foreign currency loans in the European Union.

January 19, 2015

Ivica Dačić in Vienna: Serbia Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland

The new OSCE Chairperson, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, spoke today at the inaugural Permanent Council meeting of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship Vienna. He revealed his Chairmanship priorities pledging to rebuild trust and confidence in the OSCE region of 57 participating states.

January 15, 2015

"Together Against Terror": Commemorative Event at the Vienna Ballhausplatz

More than 10,000 people gathered in Vienna as part of the commemoration of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

January 13, 2015

State Holding ÖIAG to be Renamed ÖBIB

Austrian state holding ÖIAG is going to be turned into a limited liability company (GesmbH) called "ÖBIB" Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungsholding, which will be permitted to make new acquisitions and which will report directly to the Finance Ministry.

January 13, 2015

Klaus Iohannis - Who is the New President of Romania?

On November 16th, Klaus Iohannis was elected the fifth President of Romania. He is due to take office on 22 December. His presidential campaign focused on fighting corruption and on improving the justice system. Klaus Werner Iohannis is a Romanian politician, born 13 June 1959. He was elected the fifth President of Romania on 16 November 2014 (age 55). He became leader of the National Liberal Party in 2014, after having served as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania from 2002 to 2013.

November 17, 2014

World Leaders Met in Vienna to Adopt 10 Year Action-Plan for Landlocked Developing Countries

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a 10 year action-plan aimed at accelerating sustainable development in the world’s 32 landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). A Business and Investment Forum was organized as an integral part of the 2nd United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries with the aim of exchanging views on the challenges and opportunities faced by LLDCs and to discuss possible partnerships and strategies in regards to the role of the private sector in the overall sustainable development of LLDCs. Also, Conchita Wurst performed live at the UN in Vienna for tolerance and mutual respect.

November 7, 2014

UN's Lakshmi Puri on Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security: "This is a historic moment!"

At the Austrian Parliament a high-level panel of international politicians and prominent activists have discussed significant achievements and major obstacles in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. The speakers included Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, Ursula Plassnik, former Austrian Foreign Minister, Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, May Chidiac of the Chidiac Foundation and Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member.

November 4, 2014

How to Set-up a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

November 3, 2014

How to Set-up a Partnership (OG) or Limited Partnership Company (KG) in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 27, 2014

How to Set-up a Sole Proprietorship Company in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 20, 2014

Lower Austria's Ecoplus International Celebrates 10 Years and 1500 Executed Projects

The EU's eastward enlargement brought Lower Austria into the center of a new, dynamic economic area. In order to make use of the chances which emerged for the lower Austrian economy, Ecoplus International GmbH in cooperation with the Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien was set up. 10 years later the subsidiary has already overseen 1500 projects.

October 16, 2014

Dispute at OMV Supervisory Board

Listed oil and gas group OMV and the state holding ÖIAG are involved in a dispute concerning a new executive board member of OMV. A decision is expected during the supervisory board meeting slated for Tuesday.

October 13, 2014

Update: Enquiry into TTIP and CETA Agreements

Details about the negotiation progress at Austria’s National Assembly have meanwhile been released. The Transatlantic Agreement CETA with Canada and the TTIP agreement with the USA have been cause for disagreements. The assembly has adopted a motion for resolution of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) concerning the transatlantic economic agreements with Canada (CETA) and the USA (TTIP). The motion calls for transparency of negotiations and ratification of the agreements by national parliaments.

September 25, 2014

Ederer Elected as Supervisory Board President of ÖBB Austrian Railways

A few days after her resignation from the ÖIAG Supervisory Board the former Siemens manager Brigitte Ederer was elected unanimously to the top of the ÖBB Supervisory Board.

September 11, 2014

Investment Opportunities: Moscow - Viennese Economic Talks in Vienna

Within the framework of the "Moscow Days in Vienna", an Economic Forum on economic, investment and technological cooperation "Moscow - Vienna 2014 Synergy - New Opportunities for Growth" was held in the Chamber of Commerce of Vienna.

September 11, 2014

Mitterlehner Replaces Spindelegger as Party Head and Vice Chancellor

Yesterday evening Reinhold Mitterlehner has been elected by the ÖVP board as new party chairman and vice chancellor. Spindelegger himself had left the party headquarters shortly before. The decision in the ÖVP board was unanimous. He is supposed to lead the party out of the crisis. His first statement after the designation on Tuesday evening was: "We must close ranks." He now wants to discuss in which direction to proceed with the tax reform. A political decision will fall but only in the fall.

August 27, 2014

Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger Quits

Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger resigned today after eight months in office, the reason are differences within the People's Party (ÖVP) on debt reform and tax. He also stepped down as vice chancellor and head of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), the center-right junior partner of the grand coalition government.

August 26, 2014

The United Nations Celebrate 35 Years in Vienna

The United Nations moved into the VIC Vienna International Centre 35 years ago. The VIC was officially opened on 23 August 1979 when it was handed over to the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Commonly known locally as 'UNO City', it has been rented to the organizations for 99 years at a symbolic rate of 1 Austrian schilling (7 euro cents) annually.

August 11, 2014