Events for April
M T W T F S S
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 4
Add your event FREE

Today


Videos


Polls


Cosmo and Nanu - Hey Cool


Cosmo and Nanu

Khol calls for cooling off

A conservative opinion leader has suggested the introduction of a cooling off period for government officials to support the fight against corruption.

Andreas Khol said federal government ministers should not be allowed to take on a job in the private economy immediately after leaving politics if the new position featured a possible conflict of interest. The former People’s Party (ÖVP) member of parliament (MP), whip and parliament speaker said during a podium discussion in Vienna yesterday evening (Weds): "The minister for energy issues must not join an energy industry company right after leaving politics."

Khol – who now heads the Austrian Association of Conservative Pensioners – said a cooling off agreement must include a continuation of payment of salaries to government ministers for some time. Speaking about the various corruption cases which infuriate voters and shatter Austria’s political elite, Khol said the government "must sort out these problems or the devil will get it."

The former president of the parliament said he was unhappy about the apparent lack of progress in investigations against ex-ministers and lobbyists too – but also warned from prejudgements. Khol underlined that none of the alleged main players who engaged in fraud, bribery and abuse of office had been found guilty since speculations about such illicit deals first emerged in 2003.

Khol stressed that he would keep "fighting tooth and nail against a devaluation of Austria’s media law and freedom of opinion but also criticised whistleblowers "because they are breaking the law". Greens MP Peter Pilz told the Kurier newspaper last Sunday he wanted the government coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and ÖVP to finally pass stricter anti-corruption laws. Pilz also said that whistleblowers deserved better protection, regardless of whether they worked for political institutions, in the public sector or the private economy.

SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann promised on Tuesday that the current law – which is widely considered as ineffective – would be updated before summer. His pledge is seen as a direct response to a warning by Pilz. The Green Party member said he would start organising a referendum shortly if the coalition kept delaying appointments with the opposition in which a reform of the bylaws should be discussed. Pilz said he was at the ready to look for prominent personalities willing to support his initiative.

Franz Fiedler, the head of the Austrian branch of non-government organisation Transparency International (TI), said in the Ö1 radio live discussion yesterday evening: "The key problem is not how common corruption is but how politicians deal with it. There is a great need for improvements here. The political elite has a lot of catching-up to do."

Fiedler – who once headed the Federal Audit Office (RH) – said he was worried since people were "losing the feeling for what is allowed and what is not". The TI Austria head said that the borders were not clearly determined in this concern. He once more called for stricter rules and more transparency – and launched an attack on the country’s established parties.

Fiedler said: "A party official might help a friend’s son in his search for an apartment. In return, he probably indicates that it would not be a mistake for the young man to join his party. The leading parties deny that this is a corruptive act – but this is where it all starts."

Vienna Times





Related articles: political scandals

  1. EC warns debt-ridden Austria

    » General News 2012-05-31

    Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.

  2. Graz coalition collapses

    » General News 2012-05-31

    People’s Party (ÖVP) Graz Mayor Siegfried Nagl has ended his faction’s partnership with the Greens.

  3. FPÖ attacks Wrabetz

    » General News 2012-05-30

    ORF boss Alexander Wrabetz is under fire over his latest relocation calculations.

  4. Government's subsidisation reform suffers setback

    » General News 2012-05-29

    The government has failed to reach an agreement with the coalition concerning a reform of Austria’s party subsidisation system.

  5. Vienna road toll on the agenda again

    » General News 2012-05-22

    The Vienna Greens are risking a coalition-internal conflict by calling for a city toll.

  6. Hollande's growth appeal 'nonsense', says Fekter

    » General News 2012-05-22

    Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Finance Minister Maria Fekter has launched an attack on the new French president.

  7. Petrol traders plan legal action

    » Business 2012-05-17

    The domestic mineral oil industry plans to sue the government about plans to set up a tool regulating fuel prices.

  8. Turmöl sales soar

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Austria’s main discount petrol station network earned more in the first three months of this year thanks to the current developments on the energy products sector.

  9. SPÖ's big guns trained on Strache

    » General News 2012-05-02

    Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl has warned from a coalition between the People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ).

  10. Bonuses must mean tax cuts, says ÖVP boss

    » General News 2012-05-02

    The People’s Party (ÖVP) has suggested to lower the tax pressure on companies which share their profits with employees.

Related articles: business scandals

  1. AUA under pressure as pilots quit

    » Business 2012-05-30

    The number of pilots and stewardesses leaving Austrian Airlines (AUA) because of the upcoming pay cuts is on the rise.

  2. Pay cuts scare off AUA pilots

    » Business 2012-05-29

    Dozens of pilots have left Austrian Airlines (AUA) in the past weeks, according to the loss-making carrier’s works committee.

  3. Pecik defends TA engagement

    » Business 2012-05-24

    Telekom Austria (TA) investor Ronny Pecik has declared himself a team player.

  4. Petrol traders plan legal action

    » Business 2012-05-17

    The domestic mineral oil industry plans to sue the government about plans to set up a tool regulating fuel prices.

  5. Sickness surge causes AUA cancellations

    » Business 2012-05-15

    Passengers are finally feeling the full impact of the emerging labour conflict at Austrian Airlines (AUA).

  6. TA recovers as CEO rejects Pecik fears

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Telekom Austria (TA) is back in the black.

  7. Turmöl sales soar

    » Business 2012-05-11

    Austria’s main discount petrol station network earned more in the first three months of this year thanks to the current developments on the energy products sector.

  8. Maier demands rail tunnel referendums

    » General News 2012-05-01

    Outgoing People’s Party (ÖVP) parliament member (MP) Ferdinand Maier has suggested to let Austrians decide about the future of the various Austrian railway tunnel projects.

  9. Cooperating clinics 'can save €2bn'

    » Business 2012-04-27

    A study has made aware of immense savings potential in the health sector.

  10. Leitl denies 'bullying businesses' claim

    » Business 2012-04-26

    The president of the Austrian Economy Chamber (WKO) has rejected accusations that companies are bullying elderly employees.


Tag cloud:
ndash  Austrian  apparent  government  Fiedler  stricter  Ouml  cooling  parliament  problems  energy  corruption  Pilz  ministers  politics  whistleblowers  rsquo  coalition  Khol  Transparency


Latest News

 

First hybrid buses in Vienna
Wiener Linien is adding it's first hybrid buses to its public transport operation in the next fortnight, in addition to the twelve electric buses introduced into the city centre.

First hybrid buses in Vienna
Wiener Linien is adding it's first hybrid buses to its public transport operation in the next fortnight, in addition to the twelve electric buses introduced into the city centre.

Michael Glawogger dies whilst filming in Africa
The Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger has died whilst filming his latest documentary in Africa. He was 54-years-old.

Faymann warns against further Russia sanctions
Chancellor Werner Faymann has spoken out in support of moving away from additional sanctions on Russia.

Gazprom to explore expanding pipeline in Austria
Russia could soon begin constructing their South Stream gas pipeline in Austria after meetings were held this week with Gazprom.

Poacher in Vienna shoots five deer with bow and arrow
A poacher is suspected to have killed five animals in Vienna using a bow and arrow, a hunting weapon that is forbidden throughout Austria.

Czech firm in the proverbial over dung parcel terror alert in Austria
A Czech mail order company that sends elephant poo around the EU could be faced with a hefty bill after a package of dung sparked a terror alert at an Austrian town hall.

Julius Meinl expands to UK
Austria's prestigious coffee brand Julius Meinl is launching its famous product in the UK, with the hope of challenging the British culture of taking coffee to go.

Wiener Linien grinds to a temporary halt Wednesday morning
Vienna's public transport will grind to a halt between 4 am and 6.30am on Wednesday morning as unions hold an emergency meetings to discuss the safety of Wiener Linien staff.

Vienna to host fashion awards
Since 2009, the Vienna Awards for Fashion and Lifestyle has played a big role in the Austrian fashion scene and has evolved itself into one of the country's most important events in the industry to date.

 


Rieders Digests


The most popular stories –
last 7 days