Friday, 27. March 2015
16. 03. 14. - 09:00
Austria's coalition government is under fire over its management of a banking crisis in which it agreed to nationalise the Hypo Alpe Adria bank in a move that has saddled the country with an estimated 18 billion euros in debt.
The Carinthian Hypo Alpe Adria was a bank that had expanded too quickly with heavy investments in particular in the Balkans where its activities were backed by Austrian local government guarantees. At the time Carinthia was ruled by the now deceased far right Freedom party leader Jörg Haider, who in exchange for guaranteeing the bank used it like his own personal piggy bank to fund voter winning ideas.
But before the banks serious problems became apparent Haider had managed to sell it to a German bank owned by the Bavarian government and he famously told people in his southern Austrian province: "Now we are rich."
Yet in a move not yet properly explained Austria's coalition government of the left-leaning social Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People's party the ÖVP decided to buy the bank back for a nominal fee of one euro, freeing the German bank and the German regional government from the eventual disaster that the bank was to become.
The Hypo disaster has been a stick that the government has used to criticise the far right Freedom party of the FPÖ, at least until recently where the scale of the debt has become apparent, and Austrians are now asking exactly why it was that Austria had bought the bank back? Voters are also reportedly fed up at the way each new day seems to bring fresh revelations about government mismanagement of the project of people increasingly asking why is it even now so many years later that there is still no solution.
The matter was brought into sharp focus with the decision by Haider's daughter Ulrika to enter politics as a candidate for her fathers breakaway political party the BZÖ in the upcoming European Parliamentary election.
She said: "The reality is that my father sold the bank at a profit to the Austrian taxpayer. The question is, why did the Austrian government then buy it back?"
The question seems to be one that voters are asking themselves. The ÖVP is already lying at a 20% voter share with the SPÖ at between 23 and 25%.
The far right Freedom party of Heinz Christian Strache in contrast is estimated at being between 25 and 27%.
The Green party that for too long has been seen as uncritical of the social Democrats with many local coalitions in operation has also suffered as a result losing ground against the new liberal NEOS with the two parties now battling it out for fourth and fifth place.
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.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Conchita Wurst Graces This Years Life Ball Poster|
|OAP Left Bus-t By Conmen Stages Protest|
|Curvy Conwoman With A Lot Of Front Busted By Cops|
|Speeding Biker Floors Grandpa And Grandson|
|Three Die From Poisoning At Volcanic Hot Spring|
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.