Austria: New government of crisis

Today the new ("old") Austrian government will be announced. After coalition talks with the both the Greens and Social Democrats the ÖVP (Peoples Party, conservatives) decided to turn back to the weakened far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). This government will be a crisis-ridden one. According to a poll only 28 % want politics to continue as in the past, the new government has only a relative majority even amongst ÖVP voters!

The new government’s proposed austerity and privatisation measures are of huge dimensions. If the government goes on, we soon can expect to see the first people without any unemployment and social benefit since the inter-war-period. The prospects for world and European economies are still gloomy. The trade union leadership will not be able to prevent industrial action for a long. Last, but not least, the looming war on Iraq will increase the anti-war mood and this will counter the plans of the Austrian ruling class to enter a military alliance.

The fact that, after three months of coalition negotiations with every party in parliament, the ÖVP have to take the unstable and far-right-populist FPÖ as their partner shows the underlying problems for the establishment. The understanding for the need of a new fighting working class party and organised union resistance will develop. Such a party or alliance will need socialist policies to counter the neo-liberal attacks. We call on every one who wants to fight the government to join the anti-war-protests and to organise protests against the cuts and privatisations together with the SLP.


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February 2003