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

Events for April
30 31 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
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 professorís 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:
secretary  Ouml  parliament  European  rsquo  Austria  minister  ndash  Commissioner  elected  Kurz  concept  leader  Salzburger  election  democratic  Fischler  politics  Karas  Spindelegger

Latest News


Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.

Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.

Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.

Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.

First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.

Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.

Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.

Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.

Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!

Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.


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