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Media Monitor: Conscription Referendum

Media Monitor: Conscription Referendum

Reaction in German-language media following the 2013 Conscription Referendum.       Mandatory Military Service Beats SPÖ 20 Jan. 2013 by Cathrin Kahlweit The Austrian electorate has decided to keep conscription. This was to be expected, yet the clear result of 60% in favour is a slap in the face for the Social Democrats. A […]

Military Service

Military Service

Not So Bad at the Bundesheer, 7 Sept. by Peter Krobath […] I personally describe myself as a military-service-nostalgic, although my time in the Austrian Army was a long, boring joke with virtually no punch-lines. However, the older one gets, the more the dull is quickly forgotten and only the few jokes remain. There were […]

The Balance of a Ball Night: Scandals, Lawsuits, and Violence

“Dancing on the graves of Auschwitz” is how Green Party head Eva Glawischnig referred to the WKR ball on 27 Jan., during a memorial ceremony on Heldenplatz. The nationalist fraternity ball coincided with International Holocaust Day, commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, and was hence seen as a provocation by critics. The organisers countered […]

Uproar Over a Volunteer Army

Despite all appeals to authority, the hasty attempt to reform universal compulsory military service has turned into a royal snafu. For a start, Minister of Defense Nobert Darabos’ plan for an all-volunteer army was not well received in some quarters, and when General Edmund Entacher expressed reservations, the minister fired him. Many were outraged. “Darabos […]

A Little Less Torture

The political struggles over immigration have entered another round with a revision of the Foreigners’ Law submitted to the Austrian Parliament Feb. 22.  After heated negotiations in the governing coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the People’s Party (ÖVP), a compromise was reached that softened some of the worst features, but left most of the […]

Long Live SPÖVP!

2nd Dec. 2008. It’s a beautiful Winter morning as Austria’s President Heinz Fischer comments on his good mood on national radio, informing his peasants that his country finally has a new government. The SPÖVP is dead!  Long live the SPÖVP! So, who are the people willing to carry the heavy load of responsibility for a […]

Who Needs the SPÖ?

When Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ) announced a minor reshuffling of the social democratic ministers on June 15, the political commentators were not particularly astonished. The announcement of a split between the positions of a Chancellor (Alfred Gusenbauer) and the SPÖ party leadership (Werner Faymann, to be appointed), however, was a major political development, for which […]

Mission to Africa

Mission to Africa

It’s a grey January morning and a military band leads the Austrian Guard of Honour into the pinkish brick-walled courtyard of the defense ministry with a jaunty march that defies the weather. The ceremonial guard, elegantly dressed in long green winter coats, is here to give the 160 Austrian troops (and one dog) headed on […]

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