For the first time since 1945 in a large Austrian city, the second largest in the country with about 300,000 inhabitants, the bourgeois candidate was voted out in favour of a Communist. Long-time mayor Siegfried Nagl (ÖVP – conservative) suffered heavy losses, while the KPÖ under city councilwoman Elke Kahr came out in first place.
More than a century ago, socialists in Austria were calling themselves ‘socialists’ because they wanted to create a new social model known as ‘socialism’. At their intellectual peak, they set up a school of Marxist theory, which they described as being separate from both social-democratic reformism as well as the dogmatism of the Communist International.
In a groundbreaking court ruling earlier this month, exclusively translated on behalf of transform! europe, the Regional Administrative Court of Styria (Southeast Austria) upheld the complaint by a young Moroccan man who was pushed back by the Austrian border police and declared this practice illegal and inhumane.
(Not only) The Left justly criticizes that by signing the government agreement the Greens have facilitated a continuation of the conservative and right-wing extremist strategy regarding refugee and migration policies. This criticism will become louder and possibly also lead to the break-up of the coalition.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Austrian Republic, transform! europe and the Jahoda-Bauer Institute held a conference about the prospects for a common strategy for the Danube region and Central Europe. The event was supported financially by the Republic of Austria’s Fund for the Future and the Party of the European Left.
There was a great sense of relief and much jubilation over the electoral victory of Alexander Van der Bellen, the Green candidate who was supported by a voters’ coalition that ranged from the centre to the Communist Party, and who defeated Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the right-wing radical political party.
On 3 and 4 June, around 1000 people came together in Vienna for the “Aufbruch” (“departure”) conference, hoping to create a movement, that, however defined, could serve as a new umbrella of the Austrian left and as a challenge and alternative to the anti-social and right-leaning state of Austrian politics right now.
On Sunday 22 May, Austria elected its President in the second round. The results of the two candidates were so close that the election was decided when the voting cards were counted on Monday. The neoliberal, green, bourgeois and democratic candidate, Alexander Van der Bellen, won the second round of the elections with 50.3% against Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer.
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