Criticism and praise for “Super Ministry”

The SPÖ feels reminded of the black and blue under Wolfgang Bowl (ÖVP) as chancellor at the beginning of the millennium. The merging of work and business under a minister Kocher is “a serious mistake that neglects the interests of workers,” said the deputy SPÖ club chairman Jörg Leichtfried. SPÖ social spokesman Josef Muchitsch hit the same note. “Even under Schwarz-Blau I it was demonstrated that the merger of the departments of work and economy led to a lasting deterioration for the employees,” he criticized.

According to Muchitsch, it was years of social cuts with heavy burdens and unacceptable deterioration for the employees. Even then, pure lobbying was carried out for corporations and large companies. Nothing good can be expected from this and it is also completely unnecessary now that this government is already on its last legs. “Nehammer should finally clear the way for new elections and not try to implement pure ÖVP clientele politics in the last few days,” said Muchitsch.

Photo series with 3 pictures

Graphic shows the resignations and changes under turquoise-green

Graphics: APA/ORF.at; Photos: APA/Private (Photo Tursky)

Graphic shows the resignations and changes under turquoise-green

Graphics: APA/ORF.at; Photos: APA/Private (Photo Tursky)

Graphic shows the resignations and changes under turquoise-green

Graphics: APA/ORF.at; Photos: APA/Private (Photo Tursky)

Criticism also from employee representatives

Criticism also came from the Chamber of Labor (AK) and the trade union: “You don’t have to be a doomsayer to see the merging of the departments for labor and economics in one ministry as very problematic for the employees,” said ÖGB President Wolfgang Katzian in a broadcast. “It’s enough to take a look at the archive,” he said, referring to the early 2000s. From the point of view of AK President Renate Anderl, “conflicts of interest between the concerns of employees and companies are inevitable”.

NEOS, IV and WKÖ: merging makes sense

NEOS, on the other hand, can gain something from the merger. Reconciling the business and labor agendas makes sense for NEOS Secretary General Douglas Hoyos. The Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) also sees the merging of the departments as a “sensible step”, said IV President Georg Knill in a press release. The Chamber of Commerce General Secretary Karlheinz Kopf (ÖVP) sees it similarly.

“Martin Kocher will also demonstrate the expertise in his now expanded department, with which he was already able to convince as Minister of Labor – and that in the best interests of Austria as a business location,” said Kopf.

Nehammer presents his government reshuffle

Nehammer introduced new team members

On Tuesday, a few days before the ÖVP party conference, after the resignations of Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger and Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck (both ÖVP), Nehammer presented the reorganization in the ÖVP government team at the ÖVP Political Academy.

The economics department will be cut, but there will be a new state secretary. The tourism agendas are transferred from the agriculture to the new large labor and economics ministry. With Susanne Kraus-Winkler, Kocher will be the new Secretary of State for Tourism, as Nehammer said. She is currently chairwoman of the hotel industry association in the Chamber of Commerce.

Farmers' Union Director Norbert Totschnig

APA/EXPA/Michael Gruber

Norbert Totschnig becomes the new Minister of Agriculture

A state secretariat for digitization and broadband is also coming. Florian Tursky, previously office manager of the Tyrolean governor Günther Platter (ÖVP), will take over these agendas, according to Nehammer. The digitization agendas are thus moving back from the Ministry of Economics to the Ministry of Finance of Magnus Brunner (ÖVP). The director of the ÖVP-Bauernbund, the East Tyrolean Norbert Totschnig, will take over the Ministry of Agriculture – more on this in tirol.ORF.at. Youth Secretary of State Claudia Plakolm (ÖVP) also gets the civil service agendas, they were previously located under Köstinger in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Oath Wednesday

The swearing-in is to take place on Wednesday morning, according to the President’s Office on Tuesday afternoon. Talks with Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen took place on Tuesday. Nehammer spread roses to his coalition partner, the Greens: you were involved in the government reshuffle and supported it. Nehammer emphasized the good relationship and a good basis of trust with the Greens boss and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and the Greens club boss Sigrid Maurer as well as their good cooperation with ÖVP club boss August Wöginger.

Florian Tursky

State of Tyrol

Florian Tursky will take over the digital agendas

An amendment to the federal ministries law is still necessary for the transfer of competences – i.e. the approval of the Green government partner. In a written statement, Kogler was “glad that the decisions were made quickly by the ÖVP and that we can now continue working quickly”.

Farewell praise and advance praise

The Chancellor said Köstinger and Schramböck “a big thank you and my appreciation”. Both would have shown a lot of commitment and had to endure a lot of hostility, malice and ridicule. Like his entire team, he allowed both of them to make their own decisions about when to withdraw. But it was also agreed that he would be informed when the time came. That is why such a rapid transformation was possible. He emphasized that the “state and sub-organizational logic” was not given priority.

Nehammer was also full of praise for his new or content-related team members. Totschnig is a “great, passionate fighter for the concerns of the farmers”, but also “a personal friend”, Tursky a “good confidante”, expert and proven crisis manager, Kocher an “absolutely experienced expert”. Plakolm has already made a significant contribution to youth issues and now receives a positive thematic rounding off with the community service. Kraus-Winkler is someone who can absorb the fears, needs and hopes for the future of the tourism industry.

Susanne Kraus-Winkler (Chairwoman of the Hotel Industry Association)

APA/Georg Hochmuth

Susanne Kraus-Winkler becomes the new Secretary of State for Tourism

SPÖ wants to submit a new election application

The opposition criticized the ÖVP government reshuffle. The SPÖ will submit a motion for new elections at the next National Council meeting. The FPÖ also insists on new elections. “After these two resignations, it’s finally ‘game over’. The Nehammer government has failed,” said deputy SPÖ club chairman Leichtfried at a press conference on Tuesday. It is time for this government to step aside. The SPÖ will therefore submit a new election application at the next National Council meeting.

Leichtfried blames the government for the crash in “all rankings”. Where united action is required, there is one resignation after the other. “The chancellor does not choose his ministers based on their competence, but rather on the basis that they do not get into trouble with the ÖVP Tirol or the farmers’ association,” he criticized the appointments made in recent years. “Transparency and control have never chosen the ÖVP, meanwhile decency no longer chooses the Greens either.”

FPÖ sees “ÖVP government bazaar”

When it came to inflation, energy and care, “nothing went any further”. According to Leichtfried, it is time to lower taxes and payroll taxes and raise pensions. He also criticized the federal government’s lack of plans to secure the gas supply, Leichtfried continued.

FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl localized in a broadcast on Tuesday an “ÖVP government bazaar”, it was necessary “to wake up the Federal President”, according to the FPÖ leader. Alexander Van der Bellen must now “finally live up to his state-political responsibility and not fall back into the unthinking swearing-in routine. He has to put an end to this pathetic ÖVP spectacle,” Kickl continued. The government team no longer has anything to do with those people who went to the National Council elections in 2019. Van der Bellen must clear the way for new elections.

NEOS criticizes appointments

FPÖ economic spokesman Erwin Angerer sees a “special class scandal” in the fact that the economic agendas are to become an “appendage” of the Ministry of Labour. Minister of Labor Kocher has not yet taken sufficient care of the labor market, said FPÖ social spokeswoman Dagmar Belakowitsch. In the CoV crisis, Kocher was also noticed as an “executioner”, Belakowitsch continued.

NEOS also criticized Nehammer’s appointments: Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) had made no progress, nothing was remembered from the Minister of Education and there had been no further development in terms of energy, said NEOS Secretary General Hoyos at a press conference. He criticized that ministerial posts were only awarded based on the candidate’s home state. “It can’t be that I become a minister just because I’m a Tyrolean.” Hoyos also accused the ÖVP of having a corruption problem. “We are experiencing what we have already experienced in recent years: the ÖVP has a corruption problem.”

First demands

Those institutions whose representatives are now moving into the government – from the Farmers’ Union to the Economic Union to related organizations such as tourism representatives and the Chamber of Agriculture – were also satisfied. The new members of the government are experts or full professionals.

The first demands due to the shifts in departments have already been voiced. The Federal Youth Representation (BJV) appealed in a broadcast to use the new opportunities offered by shifting the civil service agenda to the youth state secretariat and to recognize the commitment within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps as a civil alternative service.

The WWF, in turn, appealed to the new Minister of Agriculture to negotiate a soil protection agreement by autumn and to implement concrete measures to prevent the spread of land. The association against animal factories (VGT) used the announcement of the new members of the government to campaign against fully slatted floors.

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