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Lower Austrian election date fixed

Lower Austria's regional Governor Erwin Pröll has announced plans for the elections in the region to take place next year on 3 March.

Announcing the decision he said that the work of the local government would continue right up until the last minute and that the election campaign that followed, which would probably start on Ash Wednesday and last about two and a half weeks, would be the shortest election campaign in the region's history.

He added that out of all of the different regions Lower Austria was the only one where in recent history the regional government had run for the full term and said that was a sign of the regions "security, stability and responsible government".

He also added that from this point of view, a party like his, which is constantly in contact with the people, did not need a lot of time to campaign in order to get its message across.

Pröll, who has been regional Governor for 20 years, is expected to continue to be the top candidate for the conservative People's party.

He also ruled out any connection with his region and the current scandal in Salzburg in which local government money was invested in risky financial ventures.

He said that the region had twice as much financial assets as debt and that their investments had returned three percent – adding: "Show me a Sparbuch that would give that return."

He said that three percent represented 824 million euros that had been earned.

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