Austrian Citizenship for Sale

German language media translated for TVR's Media Monitor

Henley & Partners, a consultancy based in Zürich, advises wealthy clients on how to acquire Austrian citizenship by making strategic investments. 

Under Article 10 of the Austrian Citizenship Act, the government can reward foreign nationals with Austrian citizenship in the event of extraordinary merit.


Die Zeit logo Media Monitor

Austria for Sale, 15 Mar.

by Christoph Zotter 

“Compared to other countries, Austria has striking double standards,” says Joachim Stern, law lecturer at the University of Vienna. “If you don’t have money or aren’t an outstanding artist or athlete, you’ll find that Austrian immigration laws are among the strictest in Europe.” Yet, according to Article 10, the Council of Ministers can grant citizenships at its own discretion. “The law is so vague that it prepares the ground for capricious application and corruption. It is undemocratic through and through,” Stern adds…

Ursula Janneschitz [who heads the office for citizenship matters in the Interior Ministry] receives all applications for citizenship before passing them on to the Ministry of Economy, where they are assessed. Of the nine applications filed last year, seven were unsuccessful. In theory, the Council of Ministers could still accept them. “This has never happened to me before,” says Janneschitz, who has been in the job for 28 years. The ministers normally follow the civil servants’ recommendations.

Henley & Partners is aware of this. Services offered in the firm’s prospectus include “liaising with officials” and “informal canvassing of the departments assessing the application.” Officials in the Ministries of Interior and Economy, however, claim that they don’t know the discrete consultants and have never been in contact with them.

AUA: A Smile in the Sky?

Austrian Airlines (AUA) is locked in a wage battle, as the management seeks to make savings.


AUA Restructuring: Unprofessional, 23 Mar.

by Claudia Ruff

Wage agreements are mutual… Both parties have the right to end the agreement. Now that both sides have used their weapons of last resort [by terminating the agreement], they will have to return to the negotiating table.

Observers remain puzzled about the unprofessional manner in which the management in Vienna and Frankfurt has handled the situation. Clearly, the pilots were worried most about AUA going bust – in which case they would lose not some, but all of their income. However, as soon as AUA’s chairman of the board Stefan Lauer (from Lufthansa) ruled out bankruptcy, the pilots and the union knew that they had won the battle. Lufthansa even announced plans to increase the airline’s capital by €140 million. This was hardly a smart poker move.

After agreeing to a new round of price reductions, AUA’s airport suppliers and the on-board caterer Do&Co will be less pleased.

Also See this month’s Austrian News Briefs:

U-turn: Secrecy saved

Graft Damages Growth in Austria 

Vienna: Green parking fees

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