VIENNA (Reuters) – Sebastian Kurz, who became Europe’s youngest foreign minister this week at the age of 27, hopes to refresh Austria’s stuffy image and present it as a modern country open to the world
His appointment may also help the centrist coalition government revamp its own image after barely scraping a combined majority from voters weary of the status quo in September elections, in which the new youth-oriented Neos scored surprisingly well.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s renewed coalition government of mainstream pro-Europe parties got off to a rough start on Monday as hundreds of people dismayed by the scrapping of the science ministry protested outside the swearing-in ceremony.
“Heinzi, don’t do it”, one sign read, a half-humorous appeal to President Heinz Fischer not to accept the coalition agreed last week by center-left Social Democrats (SPO) and conservative People’s Party (OVP).
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian conservative leader Michael Spindelegger, set to replace the combative Maria Fekter as the euro zone country’s finance minister, is as plain vanilla as Fekter is brash.
A man who describes himself as cerebral, responsible and calm has put himself into the finance ministry hot seat in a cabinet shake-up accompanying a new version of the coalition his OVP People’s Party struck with the Social Democrats.
VIENNA, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The coalition accord struck by
Austria’s two big parties on Thursday calls for increasing a
bank levy surcharge that the country imposed last year, two
sources familiar with the agreement said.
Austria launched a special bank levy in 2011 to help recoup
costs of propping up the sector during the financial crisis. The
underlying levy, originally supposed to last until 2017, raises
around 500 million euros ($690 million) a year.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s mainstream pro-Europe parties agreed on Thursday to govern in coalition for the next five years, promising to ensure continued prosperity in the Alpine euro zone nation.
The Social Democrats (SPO) and conservative People’s Party (OVP) had promised a new, progressive approach to politics after September elections in which voters tired of party paralysis punished them and bolstered the far right.
VIENNA, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Energy group Verbund
needs more time to decide the future of its struggling gas-fired
power plants, which it had hoped to resolve by the end of the
year, it said on Wednesday.
Verbund is battling a difficult environment for gas power
plants in Europe, where demand is low due to a weak economic
climate, while competing renewable energy sources are being
heavily subsidised in neighbouring Germany, the continent’s
VIENNA (Reuters) – Six Austrian banks will hold up well in European stress tests next year that are designed to gauge whether the region’s banks can withstand tough market conditions, the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) said on Wednesday.
OeNB Governor Ewald Nowotny gave an upbeat view of how domestic banks would fare in the stress tests that aim to reassure investors about the resilience of 128 big euro zone banks in the wake of the financial crisis.
VIENNA (Reuters) – The two big pro-Europe parties that have dominated post-war Austrian politics are closing in on a deal to extend their coalition government by eschewing major change in favor of largely staying the course.
Barring last-minute surprises, Chancellor Werner Faymann’s center-left Social Democrats (SPO) and their junior partners, the conservative People’s Party (OVP), will unveil a deal in days to extend the coalition that has governed since 2006.
VIENNA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Austrian conservatives are pushing
to sell more state-owned shares in big companies such as OMV
, Telekom Austria or Austrian Post
as coalition talks heat up with the Social Democrats.
The two big parties that have dominated post-war politics
have laboured to strike a deal that could keep them governing
together after September elections that weakened them both and
bolstered the euro sceptic right wing.
VIENNA/MOSCOW, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The political crisis in
Ukraine, sparked by an East-West power struggle in which Moscow
has gained the upper hand, is increasing the risk to the
country’s financial system and creating a particularly acute
headache for Russian banks.
As crowds took to the streets to protest after President
Viktor Yanukovich rejected a trade and cooperation deal with the
European Union last week in favour of closer ties with Russia,
its rattled central bank, low on reserves, appealed to people
not to pull their deposits from the banks.