In his inaugural speech in parliament, Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) made it clear that he was determined to start work “with all his might and the necessary respect for the size of the office”. In any case, his hand was stretched out in the direction of the coalition partner in order to overcome the rifts that had recently emerged.
At the same time, the 52-year-old demanded that the “political maneuvering and fighting about each other” must come to an end. Schallenberg emphasized again that he would proceed and work together “in close coordination” with ÖVP chairman and club boss Sebastian Kurz. “Anything else would be absurd in terms of democratic politics,” said the Neo-Chancellor.
Sharp criticism from SPÖ
Especially SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner criticized Schallenberg’s words. He was sworn in as chancellor of the republic, but not as chairman of the ÖVP. It is also not up to the ex-foreign minister to lecture parliament or to question parliamentary instruments, said Rendi-Wagner.
With his government declaration in the National Council, Schallenberg has probably not made friends, at least with the opposition. Instead, he caused a lot of excitement with a file scandal – an action for which he was to apologize a little later.
Carinthia’s governor Peter Kaiser (SPÖ) was a guest at ZIB2 on Tuesday and spoke to moderator Armin Wolf about Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and his appearance in parliament. And this apparently did not convince Kaiser. “Not really!” Said the country manager.
“There was not a word of apology”
Instead, according to the 62-year-old, there were too many relativizations and actions that would not have been authentic. But he is someone who would give everyone a chance. Kaiser is disappointed and also outraged by the behavior of former Chancellor Sebastian Shortly after his resignation.
“There was not a word of apology after the negative aftertaste that was created here for Austria,” Kaiser explains in the ZIB2. When asked how sensible a motion of censure against Finance Minister Gernot Blümel the day before the budget speech would be, Kaiser replied: “That is something that was decided in the club.”
According to the sovereign, the motion of censure against Blümel was also related to the fact that many elements of the ÖVP scandal came from the Ministry of Finance. A motion of no confidence she also the political decision of a parliamentary group, which had also been made and justified.
After the Green Club chairwoman Sigrid Maurer, Armin Wolf also wanted to know from Peter Kaiser whether the SPÖ would really have wanted to react with the FPÖ and Herbert Kickl in the event of a coalition end, Kaiser made it clear that a coalition had not been discussed at all.
The talks hadn’t gotten that far. When asked whether the SPÖ considered the FPÖ more capable of governing than the Kurz team, Kaiser replied: “I didn’t say that.” In addition, the Carinthian state chief made it clear that it was not about people and dislikes.
Doskozil as candidate for chancellor?
Instead, one must come to an understanding within parliamentarism beyond party lines and “ideological barriers”. Burgenland’s head of state Hans Peter Doskozil, however, said that the SPÖ leadership would have been ready to form a coalition with the Kickl-FPÖ. That is a massive credibility problem for the SPÖ, said Wolf.
“I don’t see any credibility problem. We have never talked about coalitions either. It has been explored what measures can be taken to counter this ÖVP system, which was represented by Kurz,” Kaiser clarified.
When Wolf von Kaiser wanted to know whether it would be a good idea for Doskozil to run as the top candidate of the SPÖ and candidate for chancellor in the next election, Kaiser replied: “I don’t think we need to talk about the situation in the SPÖ now.”
And further: “No matter who in social democracy … we know that we are on the side of liberal democracy and will act accordingly and will also take back personal situations if they should arise.” Before elections, however, it is always the case that the highest party bodies make the decision.