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Fiscal Policy

Annual Report of the European Commission: How did Austria do?

The European Commission presented its annual reports on 27 EU member states. How did Austria do? Well, it kinda ended up with a black eye. The report took a pop at Vienna for a number of structural shortcomings, including tax burden on labour, pension and healthcare expenditures, house prices, restrictive regulation in the services markets, stagnating productivity and and not enough action on spreading digital technologies. That isn’t a particularly good report card for the previous coalition government of ÖVP und SPÖ. Let’s see if the new coalition government of ÖVP und FPÖ can make the grade the next time around.

March 11, 2018

Austria Gives up Bank Secret for United States

Austria and the US have signed an agreement for the exchange of fiscal data. However, the agreement could be renewed soon.

April 30, 2014

Hypo Group Further Losses to Be Expected

Huge losses by the sale of the SEE banking network could be expected.

April 30, 2014

Spindelegger: “Arsonists Are to Blame Not Fire Brigade”

The downsizing of ailing bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria is a heavy burden for this year’s budget. According to Finance Minister Spindelegger, the deficit comes at 2.7 percent of GDP while public debts will soar.

April 29, 2014

Slovenian Government to Collapse

After the Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek has lost the crucial vote against Zoran Jankovic, the Slovenian coalition is close to break apart. The ailing country faces new elections.

April 26, 2014

Budget Deficit: Austria Threatened with Penalty

Due to the capital injections into the distressed lender Hypo Group, Austria´s 2013 budget deficit will exceed the 3.0% threshold. According to Finance Minister Spindelegger, Austria might face an excessive deficit procedure.

April 25, 2014

Austria: Bank Levy Begins to Wobble

Austria´s Minister of Economics Reinhold Mitterlehner proposed to reduce the bank levy. The coalition partner, the social democrats, is surprisingly open to talks.

April 25, 2014

Croatia Faces Radical Fisal Measures

The fiscal situation of the Balkan country and youngest EU member state is disastrous. The Croat government announced to introduce new taxes.

April 25, 2014

Austrian Public Debt Almost at 80% of GDP

The Austrian public debt burden will reach a new all-time high at the end of the current year. The challenging fiscal situation is partly attributable to the capital injections into Hypo Group Alpe Adria.

April 24, 2014

Eder: Policy-Makers Have to Make Decisions

Wolfgang Eder, CEO of Austrian steel manufacturer voestalpine, claims not to have heard anything from the Austrian policy makers after he raised criticizm with regard to the Austrian business location.

April 24, 2014

Austria: Calls for Reduction of Bureaucracy Become Louder

Bureaucratic hurdles burden the Austrian enterprises the most apart from taxes and other levies.

April 23, 2014

Serbia: Key Rate Kept Unchanged.

The NBS (National Bank of Serbia) decided to keep the policy rate unchanged as there is no threat of inflation.

April 22, 2014

Austria: RLB OÖ Still Threatening to Leave

According to managing director of Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich (RLB OÖ) Heinrich Schaller, the tax burden is too high in Austria. The bank is still threatening to leave for Germany if the bank levy will not be changed.

April 17, 2014

Poland: Excessive Deficit Procedure for Two More Years

The Polish government expects the EU Commission to cancel the Excessive Deficit Procedure in “less than two years” due to the measures applied so far the continuing of economic recovery.

April 16, 2014

Slovakia as a Role Model?

In an interview with Austrian daily “Wirtschaftsblatt”, Tomas Malatinsky, Economy Minister of Slovakia, talked about budget discipline, investments and tax policy.

April 16, 2014

Serbia: “Radical Measures” Needed to Tackle Grey Economy

Experts call for higher penalties to make tax evasion and gray economy less profitable and establish financial discipline.

April 14, 2014

“Bank Rescue is a Crime”

Martin Ehrenhauser, leading candidate of the Austrian electorial alliance “Europa Anders”, which is running for the EU elections, has voiced harsh criticism about the saving of financial institutes.

April 14, 2014

Poland: No Tax Hike Required

According to Poland’s Finance Minister, a tax increase is not required this year.

April 14, 2014

Austria: Tax Quota Grows Continuously

Austria is well on the way to reach the top of the high-tax countries. Last year, Austria´s tax quota on labor income has reached the highest in its history.

April 12, 2014

Austria: Hypo Group’s Investigation Committee Ready for Action

The group of foreign experts at the investigation commission for Hypo Group Alpe Adria is supposed to guarantee the required objectivity. The first results are expected to be published at the end of the year.

April 10, 2014

Hypo Group: Heavy Burden for Austrian Fiscal Position

The Austrian National Bank, however, expects the structural medium-term budgetary objectives to be achievable.

April 7, 2014

Hungary: Clear Victory for Orban

Today, Hungary has held parliamentary elections. Despite controversial and radical reforms, Prime Minister Orban was confirmed.

April 6, 2014

Czech Economy Recovers Slowly

In 2013, the Czech GDP was down for the second consecutive year. This year, the Czech economy is expected to expand by 1.4%.

April 5, 2014

Hypo Group: „We Are not the Only One Who Must Pay“

Austrian Minister of Finance Michael Spindelegger underlines that the Austrian taxpayers are not the only ones who must bear the losses of the nationalized lender Hypo Group Alpe Adria.

April 5, 2014

Treichl: „The U.S. Have Solved the Crisis Better“

Andreas Treichl, CEO of the Vienna-listed lender Erste Group, thinks that everything takes too long in Europe. The communication between banks and the government is insufficient, Treichl says.

April 5, 2014

Hungary: Orban Faces Re-Election

Tomorrow, Sunday, Hungary holds national elections. Despite the difficult economic frame conditions in Hungary, the centre-right government is expected to be confirmed for the next four years.

April 5, 2014

Hungary: OTP Approaches Acquisition of MKB

MKB, the Hungarian loss-making affiliate of German regional lender BayernLB, is approaching its acquisition by the biggest lender OTP.

April 3, 2014

Austria: Dispute about Bank Tax Culminates

The establishing of a new fund for the banking union will become a financial burden for banking institutes.

April 3, 2014

Slovenia: Budget Deficit to Jump to 14.7%

Due to the bank bailout, Slovenia´s budget deficit is expected to reach 14.7% of GDP in 2013.

April 2, 2014

Austria: Faymann Insists on Bank Levy

Chancellor Faymann intends to keep the bank levy in spite of the planned insolvency fund, which is going to be established EU-wide.

April 1, 2014

Hungarian Recovery Remains Shaky

Last year, Hungary´s government successfully managed the economic turnaround. Nevertheless, Hungary´s growth remains artificial.

March 31, 2014

Slovenia: Danger of Tax Increase

Because of the failed introduction of the property tax Finance Minister Uros Cufer suggested an inrease in VAT to compensate for the losses in revenue.

March 31, 2014

Austria: State Revenues Increased

In 2013 the Austrian budget deficit came at 1.5 percent of GDP wile public debts increased to 74.5 percent of GDP.

March 31, 2014

Slovenia: Controversial Property Tax Fails

The Slovenian Constitutional Court has rejected the controversial property tax suggested by the government. This will jeopardize this year’s budget.

March 28, 2014

Poland to Fulfill EU Commission’s Regulations

According to Polish Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek, Poland will have no difficulties fullfilling the standards set by the European Commission with regard to the budget deficit.

March 27, 2014

Austria: Economic Growth Slowly Getting in Gear

Wifo (Austrian Institute of Economic Research) projects economic growth in Austria to revive again only at the end of this year.

March 27, 2014

Slovenia: Chaos around Real Estate Tax Continues

On Thursday the Slovenian National Assembley will pass amendments to the highly debated real estate tax.

March 27, 2014

Hungary: Orban Striving to Become PM Again

In an attempt to gain another four years as head of the government Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban praises the country’s achievements in the past years since his Fidesz party came into power.

March 26, 2014

Poland: Pension Reform Not to Affect Rating

According to rating agency Fitch, Poland’s country rating will not be affected by the pension reform.

March 25, 2014

Austria: No Changes to Land Transfer Tax

There will be no tax hikes in the near future concerning the inheritance of property within families. The draft law of the Finance Ministry also includes the exemption of business successions.

March 24, 2014

Czech Growth to Speed Up

Due to the increase in foreign demand, the advisory company EY expects the Czech economy to revive this year.

March 24, 2014

Hypo Group: New Supervisory Board President

Herbert Walter becomes head of the nationalized Austrian Balkan lender Hypo Group Alpe Adria. According to Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger, Hypo Group needs even more capital injections.

March 24, 2014

Hypo Group: “Acutely Gaping Capital Hole“

In a compulsory notification published on Friday morning, Hypo Group Alpe Adria has reported about an “acutely gaping capital hole” which has to be covered by the Austrian Federation.

March 21, 2014

Slovenia: Exuberant Public Spendings

Public finances in Slovenia have gone wild as only after two months almost half of the total deficit planned for 2014 was spent.

March 20, 2014

Fitch: Elections Command Fiscal Consolidation and Reforms

Vucic appears to acknowledge the need for reforms in Serbia.

March 20, 2014

Austria: Reform Steps Very Modest

Austria, along with Germany and Switzerland, hardly put any economic reforms into realization. This is the conclusion of the annual “reform barometer” for the three countries.

March 20, 2014

Slovenia: Government Confirms Tax for Residential Property

The government has confirmed the changes adopted for the introduction of the real estate tax.

March 20, 2014

Hypo Group Expected to Publish Figures This Week

On Thursday the Austrian taxpayers are supposed to officially get to know the financial requirements for nationalized problem bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria.

March 19, 2014

Slovenia: Confusion over Real Estate Tax

The deadline for real estate owners to prepare for the new real estate tax has been extended by a month.

March 19, 2014

Wifo Warns European Council of Economic-Policy Standstill

The Austrian Institute of Economic Research sharply criticizes the current economic policy of the European Union and calls for a change of course to reach the self-defined targets.

March 19, 2014