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Political News

The Governing ÖVP Further Rocked by ÖBAG Scandal

Recovered chats reveal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Finance Minister Gernot Blümel’s involvement, previously denied, in the appointment of state holding CEO Thomas Schmid.

WKÖ and ÖGB Condemn “Easter Lockdown”

In a rare show of unity, the Austrian Economic Chambers and Trade Union Federation call the latest anti-COVID measures “not feasible” in a joint statement.

“The Hungary Model” – Illiberal Tactics for Weakening Independent Media

Press freedom in Central Europe is under renewed threat. Yet there are no systematic arrests of journalists as in Belarus or Turkey, less of the blatant acts of censorship common in Russia and few of the gruesome killings of reporters that are common in autocratic countries around the world. Instead, they are now following the Hungary model.

Mayday, Mayday! Austrian Democracy in Danger!

As criticism and corruption allegations pile up against his administration, the biggest cause for concern is Sebastian Kurz’s deliberate attempts to undermine the nation’s checks and balances.

EU to Issue COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Amid Sluggish Rollout

The European Commission is working on a digital certificate that will enable free travel. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is an advocate, despite Austria’s slow inoculation rate.

No More Hiding – Austria Set to Disclose State Information

If the measure passes, the Republic will dismantle its nearly 100-year-old Official Secrecy Laws – the last EU country to do so – and launch new measures increasing public insight into state operations.

Survey – A Discouraged Public Gives Coalition Poor Marks

A year after the start of the pandemic, trust in the government has plummeted to new lows, as frustrations mount amid evidence of a new ÖVP scandal.

Bavarian Borders, Tyrolean Tantrums

Concerns over virus mutations have led Germany to close its frontier to Tyrol, setting off traffic jams on the streets and brawls among top officials. Even Brussels has chimed in.

Arbitrary Authorities & Police Violence – A Fearsome Deportation

In the night of January 27-28, two girls born in Austria were deported with their mother to Georgia. To the surprise of the authorities, dozens of demonstrators turned up, including some prominent faces. An eyewitness report.

Austria Deports Children by Night, Triggering Outrage and Protests

Over the last few days, Austria’s immigration authorities have deported children from Lower Austria and Vienna to Armenia and Georgia. Most of them have spent the majority of their lives in Austria or were born here.

Austrian Insiders Arrested for Aiding Flight of Wirecard COO

Vienna police have taken a former FPÖ MP and BVT-security head in custody for assisting the escape of Jan Marsalek, mastermind of one of Europe’s greatest postwar financial scandals.

How Austria Plans to Support Its Schools & Artists

With schools in distance learning until February and cultural institutions closed perhaps through March, the government is stepping up support measures.

Church and State – No Prayers Please, We’re Austrian

An invitation to a prayer breakfast in the Parlament managed to offend almost everyone, Christians and secularists alike. It also raised the specter of a far darker time.

Grasser Found Guilty in a Tale of Insider Bidding and Bags of Cash

The Austrian Republic's longest corruption trial ended sensationally. If it has ended. Ex Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser and close friends have been found guilty and sentenced to prison.

“Social, Brave, Humane, Sustainable” – Red-Pink Make Its Debut in Vienna

Following three weeks of intense negotiations, the Vienna’s SPÖ and NEOS have presented a 212-page coalition program for their administration. Here are the most important takeaways.

The Ugly Truth Behind Vienna’s Terrorist Attack – Blind Bureaucracy and Clumsy Management

Investigations surrounding the Jihadist attack in Vienna’s inner city have revealed hiccups in the Austrian secret service and shed new light on the country’s large extremist scene.

Muslim Community Condemns Church Break-Ins

Attacks by young Islamists at Antonskirche and Stephansdom prompted strong rebuke from the IGGÖ: “We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms.”

Jihadist Terror Attack in Vienna’s First District

On Monday evening, at least one ISIS “sympathizer” attacked diners sitting outside in the inner city. Four civilians and one gunman were killed, and 22 others injured, some severely. Police are still looking for possible accomplices. This is a developing story.

Multilingualism: Treasure or Burden? Probably Both.

Conflict over remedial German classes in schools continues, as politicians, experts and teachers debate how best to support children with poor language skills.

“Austria can manage this. Together.”

On Austria’s National Day, October 26, 2020, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen addressed Austrians and “all people living in our country” with a calm plea for reasons, fortitude and unity.

The Ischgl Report – Misjudgment, Misconduct and Misinformation

An independent review of the outbreak response to one of Europe’s first COVID-19 clusters blames federal and state officials for their slow reactions and poor communication.

Enforcement of Mask Rules by U-Bahn Security Triggers Accusations of Racism

A routine intervention by Wiener Linien staff escalated into alleged use of excessive force; feelings run high while body-cam evidence may prove critical.

Black Voices – ‘Writing History’ in Austria

Following the popular Black Lives Matter protest in Vienna, young activists launched a Citizens’ Initiative demanding a national action plan against racism.

Vienna Has Voted – The Final Results in Detail

Viennese voters have handed the ruling SPÖ of Mayor Michael Ludwig a decisive victory. All other parties win a higher vote share. Only the far-right-wing FPÖ implodes, losing more than three quarters of its voters.

Telex.hu – A Defiant Hungarian News Site

Resisting government efforts to suppress independent media, seasoned journalists at the new crowd-funded website have sworn to “keep a check on power.”

Election Fever in Vienna

As the city prepares to go to the polls, the streets are plastered with party propaganda posters. Michael Ludwig will almost certainly remain mayor, but his potential partners are pitching for a piece of power.

QAnon Supporters Put on a Homophobic Display at a Protest in Vienna

At a protest against coronavirus restrictions in Vienna, far-right extremists put on a homophobic display in front of a cheering crowd, while drawing outrage from the Greens.

Low Marks for Integration in Austrian Schools – Who is to Blame?

The annual integration report has confirmed that migrant children have difficulty learning German, but Integration Minister Susanne Raab rejects changing the system.

Commerzialbank – A Tale of Criminal Generosity and Incompetent Oversight

A financial pillar of Burgenland had been running on fictional business for years. The inevitable came in August, as the fraudster confessed. Now, auditors and authorities are busy pointing fingers.

No More Swimming on the Gürtel

'Gürtelfrische West' has been shut down by city officials – yet another set back for Deputy Mayor Birgit Hebein, widely criticized for her “pop-up politics.”

New Government, Old Agenda – Press Freedom Under Strain Again in Slovenia

Few countries in Europe have experienced such a swift downturn in press and media freedom with a new government as has Slovenia under veteran Prime Minister Janez Janša.

Protests in Belarus, Support in Vienna

Lies about COVID-19, unprovoked police violence and suspected fraud in the presidential election have brought 200,000 to the streets of Minsk demanding a new election. A Belarusian student at the Uni Wien stays involved from abroad.

Newcomer Parties Fighting to Get on the Ballot

New, small political parties are vying to get on the ballot for the upcoming elections – in the district council elections, EU citizens can vote too.

Musical Chairs for UK-EU Expats – Grab a Seat Before the Music Stops

As the Brexit negotiations drag on, there is still no final clarity on the future of British citizens living in Europe. It is likely to be reciprocal – whatever that means. With Boris, who knows?

One Woman Army | Tanner’s Mission Impossible

Klaudia Tanner is fighting a losing battle to maintain a credible military on a shrinking budget. She has some good ideas, but her communications have met a disastrous defeat.

Asylum Seekers’ Path of Entry Eased. Perhaps.

Justice Minister Alma Zadić has guaranteed independent legal support for asylum seekers. This has allayed well grounded fears of political pressuring. For now.

“We Are Not the United States of Europe”

Karin Kneissl, former Foreign Minister of Austria, talks politics, diplomacy and Europe's place in the world in an exclusive final interview with Metropole magazine

Tanks a Lot

Military convoys carrying thousands of soldiers will be crossing Austria on their way to join U.S.-led exercises in the Balkans – but traffic precautions are in place.

Creeping Message Control

Recent government moves appear to be aimed at restricting official data collection and distribution. The opposition sees this as unwarranted interfere...

Europe Goes to the Polls

It is a rainy Friday night, and Ulises is sitting with his girlfriend Laura at a winebar at the Naschmarkt in Vienna. Ulisesis from Madrid and La...

Kickl Seeks Preventive Detention of ‘Dangerous’ Refugees

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) outlined his plans for "Sicherungshaft," a legal change that wo...

“You’re a Young Guy” | Kurz Meets Trump

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz described his meeting with United States president Donald Trump Wednesday as “very disputatious” in an interview wi...

Papa Stays Home

The Papamonat (paternity leave) has been a PR coup for the present government.   After long opposing a new fathers' right to take a month off work,...

74, 73, 72 … The Countdown to Brexit Has Begun

Following the rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit plan by a devastating majority of 230 votes in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister (PM) had to fa...

The US Midterms and the Consequences for Europe

The world has watched the US midterm elections spellbound. But for Europe, even the Democratic victory in the house of representative might not bring ...

The Sebastian Kurz Show

They love him or they hate him: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is more notorious across Europe than most of his predecessors. Now he is taking ove...

Austrian Government Plans to Introduce 12-hour Workday

“Welcome to a new world of work.” A 3-minute animated video with this feel-good title was published on June 18 by the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO)...

Female Opposition Mushrooms Against Pilz

Liste Pilz founder Peter Pilz has finally taken his seat in parliament after initially declining it in the wake of sexual harassment allegations again...

Austria Charms and Courts Putin

When Russian President Vladimir Putin touched down in Vienna with a 30-minute delay on Tuesday, the military guard of honor stood ready, waiting in th...

5 Things You Need to Know to Vote in the U.S. Elections

Key Reminders from the Federal Voting Assistance Program during Absentee Voting Week ALEXANDRIA, Va. - With less than two months until the General Ele...
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