Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!

Events for September
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
Add your event FREE




Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Fischler backs Kurz concept

Former European Commissioner Franz Fischler has encouraged Sebastian Kurz to keep calling for a reform of Austria’s democratic system.

Sebastian Kurz, who serves as Austria’s first state secretary for integration since last year, was asked by People’s Party (ÖVP) leader Michael Spindelegger to create a concept for more direct democracy in an attempt to fight the growing disinterest of people in politics. Kurz said 100 members of the next parliament (MPs) should be elected in direct votes. The next federal election will take place in autumn 2013. The Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the ÖVP want to lower the number of members from 183 to 165.

Kurz also said that the president of the European Commission (EC) should be elected in a direct election. Furthermore, the vice chief of the ÖVP’s Viennese department pushes for a reduction of bureaucratic burdens to people interested in holding referendums. Now Fischler signalised support for the ÖVP’s shooting star. The former European commissioner for agriculture, rural development and fisheries told the Salzburger Nachrichten today (Tues): "Formal measures like a code of conduct will not change a lot. Ideas such as the ones of Kurz and the ÖVP’s youth section make more sense."

Fischler said he agreed with the state secretary’s point of view to fight for a reform of federal voting regulations in times of polls showing that more and more Austrians think that politicians are corrupt. The former European commissioner said a code of conduct should be introduced as well – but not only for members of the ÖVP but all Austrian politicians. Spindelegger recently revealed plans to set up such a guideline. The ÖVP leader asked a team of elder statesmen, legal experts and political scientists to create a code of conduct for ÖVP officials.

He said the plan was to help party members to get along in the complex juridical system of Austria which, according to Spindelegger, featured many "grey areas" as far as rules for politicians were regarded. The foreign minister said it was not his intention to "build ÖVP prisons". Political opponents reacted rather maliciously to his statements, claiming that lawmakers should know how to behave without keeping some kind of code of conduct in mind.

Fischler not only criticised developments in Austrian politics. Speaking to the Salzburger Nachrichten, the ex-ÖVP agriculture minister said the European Union’s (EU) state and government leaders were making EU politics "less democratic as a whole" by ignoring the EC and the European Parliament (EP). Fischler gave the decision-making process regarding financial support packages for struggling members of the Eurozone as an example.

Othmar Karas, who heads the ÖVP’s delegation in the EP, expressed similar concerns. Karas also told Die Presse last month that the federal parliaments’ influence should not increase further. Karas claimed that some of the EU’s 27 member states’ parliaments were already struggling to fulfil their national duties. His warning followed statements by Spindelegger. The ÖVP boss – who is not on good terms with Karas, according to insiders – said after meeting eight other European foreign ministers for talks in Berlin, Germany, that "more control" by member countries’ federal parliaments was needed.

Austrian Times

Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!

Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Related articles: EU

  1. Best of the bookshelf in May, part four

    » Panorama 2012-05-31

    A Harvard University professor’s book on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a collection of funny experiences on planes and many more interesting releases are out now.

  2. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  3. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

more related articles tagged "EU"

Related articles: crisis

  1. Drachma reintroduction 'would mean social explosion'

    » General News 2012-05-31

    A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.

  2. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  3. Property prices keep climbing

    » Business 2012-05-31

    A real estate expert has expressed concerns about property prices in Austria.

more related articles tagged "crisis"

Tag cloud:
European  Kurz  Karas  Commissioner  Spindelegger  election  rsquo  Salzburger  minister  democratic  elected  parliament  ndash  leader  politics  Fischler  Ouml  secretary  concept  Austria

Latest News


Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.

Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning – in a swimming pool.

Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.

Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.

Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap
A Japanese man inspired by Austrian pervert Wolfgang Priklopil kidnapped a 10-year-old girl and kept her in a purpose-built cellar where he planned to train her to become the perfect wife.

German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.

Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.

Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.

Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days

Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.

Austrian Zimmers