‘What’s new with the old government’

Published on 13 December 2013 at 11:31


More than two and a half months after general elections in September, Die Presse reports that a “new old” government will take office in Austria. On December 12, the social-democratic Chancellor Werner Faymann and the conservative Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP) announced the renewal of their grand coalition, which is set to remain in power until 2018.
“It is the most Austrian form of government,” remarks the daily, which adds —

You have to have lived in another country to be disappointed now: this grand coalition is like previous ones. [...] Grand coalition is government based on the lowest common denominator. It has always been and will continue to be this way. Its primary motive will not be to make things possible but to prevent them from happening. This has once again been shown to be the case in no uncertain terms.
Michael Spindelegger will be Minister for Finance, while 27 year-old Sebastian Kurz, who is also an ÖVP member, will take over as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Die Presse also reports that there will nonetheless be some new measures, including the right to avail of a second free year in nursery schools. A compromise has also been found on the high income solidarity tax, which will continue to apply after 2016.

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