Hiccup with cable car Hörl

Hörl was supposed to be questioned in the sub-committee in mid-September, a week before the Tyrolean state elections. However, the appointment did not take place. On Thursday, the ÖVP politician initially had little to say. He refrained from making an introductory statement and wished those present a “Merry Christmas”. He could see no reason for his charge. Trial judge Wolfgang Pöschl also found it difficult to question him more closely and passed the right to speak to the parliamentary groups.

The first question from the leader of the Greens parliamentary group, Nina Tomaselli, about Hörl’s donation activities led to a standing. She wanted to know whether the politician, who has been a member of parliament since 2006 with an interruption, or a company in his sphere of influence around the “Ballhausplatz project” or in the course of the 2017 national council elections for the ÖVP or for a sub-organization of the ÖVP .

The member of parliament Franz Hörl

ORF.at/Roland Winkler

Hörl has several functions that he has written down on a piece of paper

Hörl referred to his privacy and business secrets. The ÖVP objected to the question, but judge Pöschl considered it admissible – after all, he had asked the question to businessman Siegfried Wolf himself a few weeks ago. Hörl hesitated, but then replied that he could not rule out a donation. He could not say whether the donation came from him personally or from his company. However, Hörl stated that he had never expected anything in return, “apart from better politics”.

“And erased”

With the questioning of Hörl, the U-Committee moved in a controversial gray area. Because the members of parliament primarily control the federal administration and not parties or the activities of members of parliament. Not infrequently, the trial judge intervened, for example after numerous tips from the ÖVP parliamentary group. That was also the case with Hörl. The mood was noticeably more tense than when the Court of Auditors President Margit Kraker was questioned before. Hörl had no perception of many questions relating to advertisements or donations.

The survey also had some strange blossoms. For example, Tomaselli pointed out to Hörl that he would be able to understand the questions better if he did not text him during the survey. Another time, U-committee chairwoman Dagmar Belakowitsch (FPÖ) noted after a statement from ÖVP parliamentary group leader Andreas Hanger that he could not get angry about a question that was not even asked. Hörl later photographed a document on the screen in front of him. However, no photos may be taken during the interview. Hörl apologized: “And deleted.”

Andrew Hanger

ORF.at/Roland Winkler

Hanger could not object to many things because Hörl answered more quickly

When asked by SPÖ mandatary Julia Herr whether donations to the ÖVP were discussed in informal or formal meetings of the “Tiroler Adlerrunde”, a group of Tyrolean entrepreneurs, Hörl said that he was not a member of this association. As an active politician, you are excluded from the group. He also has no perceptions of donations from entrepreneur Klaus Ortner to the party, said the deputy, who did not see himself as “Tyrolean’s donation bank”. Hörl paid back a donation for his election campaign, as he emphasized. It was a sloppy mistake.

CoV help included when winning

When asked about this, Hörl said his companies had received economic aid from the Covid-19 financing agency (COFAG). SPÖ mandatary Herr calculated that, according to a balance sheet in 2020, Hörl had achieved “380,000 euros in retained earnings”, of which 158,000 euros were from subsidies. The deputy specified that the 158,000 euros were already included in the 380,000 euros. With the exception of the sales replacement, his tax advisor had applied for everything “that had to be applied for,” said the informant. The aid would have compensated for the losses in the important winter season. In 2019 he still turned over almost five million euros, in 2021 it fell to around 900,000.

Julia Lord

ORF.at/Roland Winkler

Deputy Herr wanted to know more about Hörl’s company – the questions are controversial, Hörl answered them

The ÖVP repeatedly reported on the rules of procedure, but objected to the SPÖ question about the balance sheets too late. Chairman Belakowitsch reacted to the criticism of the government faction: “Hörl is too quick to answer. I can’t stop him.” However, the ÖVP did not accept that, after all, she, Belakowitsch, was in the chair. Procedural judge Pöschl finally summed up and thus remained true to his line on this question: Information persons can also answer inadmissible questions, but they do not have to.

When asked if he had ever considered repaying the coronavirus aid because he made a profit in 2020 despite the pandemic, Hörl said he didn’t want to answer the question and “the question doesn’t arise either”. The MP previously said that the months after the 2020 winter season was canceled were not easy for his family and that is why they did what everyone else had done: applied for Covid aid.

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