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Austrian Political News | Domestic

Goals of Austria's OSCE Chairmanship 2017

Germany will chair the OSCE until the end of December and will then hand over to Austria in 2017. Austria will promote greater security and stability as well as the preservation of common values within the OSCE region.

August 31, 2016

Social Progress Index: Austria Ranked 13th

Austria has been ranked 13th by NGO Social Progress Imperative, in its Social Progress Index ranking. It precedes Japan and Germany and scored many points thanks to renewable energy projects. However, the state reveals shortages with respect to education, tolerance and equal opportunities. Nordic states, such as Finland, Canada and Denmark lead the index.

July 25, 2016

Austria Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship: "Need for Decisive Action!"

In his first address to the OSCE Permanent Council as incoming OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz said that the fight against radicalization will be the main priority of Austria’s 2017 OSCE chairmanship. In first address to OSCE Permanent Council, incoming Chairperson-in-Office Austria’s Foreign Minister Kurz, stresses

July 14, 2016

New "Open Austria Initiative" Supposed to Open Doors to Silicon Valley

Foreign Ministry and Austrian Economic Chamber open joint office in California to support Austrian companies and pave their way for success in Silicon Valley.

July 14, 2016

OSCE: "Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Energy Supplies are Prerequisite for Stability and Security"

Energy experts from the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, representing both government institutions and private sector companies, will begin a week-long field study of sustainable energy in Austria and Germany.

July 12, 2016

Christine Muttonen Elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today congratulated Christine Muttonen on her election as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

July 6, 2016

Presidential Poll Result Overturned by Austrian Constitutional Court

Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party Norbert Hofer.

July 1, 2016

Agenda Austria Recommends Campaign Against Öxit

Think tank Agenda Austria recommends the government in Austria to devise a large campaign against an Austrian exit ("Öxit”), highlighting the benefits of EU membership, since the experts anticipate an increase in discussions concerning this issue.

June 27, 2016

Human Rights of Refugees Must Also Be Protected

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) emphasized that any solutions to the refugee crisis in Europe must ensure the dignified treatment and protection of the human rights of all refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants.

June 21, 2016

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

Symposium in Vienna: "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit"

The upcoming summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Warsaw from 8th to 9th July 2016 sees the organization facing numerous challenges. The withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan and rising tensions in the European area – from the conflict in Ukraine to the migration crisis, effected the question of the role of NATO’s Partnership for Peace under the new circumstances. A conference in Vienna with the working title "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit" intends to discuss these and other pertinent issues.

June 16, 2016

Tax Payers to Finance AvW Bankruptcy after all?

Tax payers may have to finance the bankruptcy of Carinthian financial company AvW after all, Presse daily reports in its online issue. The damage is estimated at EUR 148 million (USD 168.2 million).

June 8, 2016

Austria’s Business Community Welcomes Van der Bellen

Austria’s economic chamber head Christoph Leitl congratulated Alexander van der Bellen on the latter’s election victory. Leitl stressed Austria’s business sector was ready to cooperate. Also Industrialists Association (Industriellenvereinigung) head Georg Kapsch cheered on the new President, adding that the industrial sector wished the new President good luck.

May 24, 2016

Austrian Presidential Candidate Hofer Admits Defeat

Austria's presidential candidate Norbert Hofer admitted his defeat in the election via his Facebook site.

May 23, 2016

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

Safety of Media Members Reporting on Refugee Crisis at Risk

OSCE Representative issues recommendations on rights and safety of members of the media reporting on refugees The challenging refugee situation in Europe also has implications for freedom of the media, not least with regard to the rights and safety of members of the media reporting on this important issue, Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today.

March 4, 2016

Discuss with Jeffrey Sachs Migration and Global Inequalities

Professor of economics Jeffrey D. Sachs will visit Austria on March 10th to give a lecture on migration and global inequalities. The lecture will take place at Vienna's Institute for Human Sciences.

March 2, 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

Czechs Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek Want to Take Control of Casinos Austria

The Czech consortium Austrian Gaming Holding (AGH) of billionaires Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek, headquartered in Prague may soon be new majority owner of Casinos Austria AG. According to the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), Austrian Gaming Holding intends to increase one hand its stake in Medial to 88.89 percent and on the other hand to acquire 16.79 percent of Casinos Austria AG shares. Through these acquisitions, AGH will hold directly or indirectly 50.82 percent of the shares and thus acquire sole control of the CASAG.

January 21, 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

Attacks on Journalists are Attacks Against Freedom of Opinion and Democracy

The UN-General Assembly adopts a resolution on the safety of journalists co-sponsored by Austria. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz declared on the occasion of the adoption of the Resolution on “The Safety of Journalists” by the 3rd Committee of the UN-General Assembly, the International Day to End Impunity: “Attacks against journalists silence important voices in society and thus impede the freedom of opinion."

November 26, 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

OSCE States Adopt Declaration Condemning Paris Terrorist Attacks

In a special meeting of the Permanent Council in Vienna to discuss the recent attacks in Paris, the 57 OSCE participating States have adopted a declaration condemning the ‘brutal and indiscriminate’ Paris attacks and recent terrorist atrocities.

November 17, 2015

OSCE Condemns Paris Attacks

The OSCE joined world leaders and other international organizations in swiftly denouncing the attacks. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić assured France that “all OSCE participating states stand by you at this hour, sharing the belief that no political cause can ever justify such heinous acts.”

November 17, 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

OSCE Chief Observer at the Russian Checkpoints to Visit Headquarter in Vienna

Paul Picard, Chief OSCE Observer at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk will address the OSCE Permanent Council. He will report on the situation including movements across the Russian-Ukrainian border at the Russian checkpoints at Gukovo and Donetsk.

February 25, 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