The government Kurz has a high level of popularity in polls even a year after being elected. Nevertheless, there has been a lot of turbulence since the arrival of the turquoise-blue government.

Sebastian Kruz

If this government commands one perfectly, it is political staging and the message control. Strategic communication consists of defining one “topic of the week” – and warding off unpleasant topics. That worked quite well in the ten months of turquoise blue – but not without reservation.

For the first time, the government came under pressure when the “songbook affair” became known in January. A song book with anti-Semitic texts was found at the fraternity Germania in Wiener Neustadt and led in view of the close connections of fraternities with the ruling party FPÖ to a test of stress for the coalition. The FPÖ reacted by withdrawing the Lower Austrian top candidate and Germania official Udo Landbauer from politics. In the meantime, he has long since returned. And the FPÖ set up a commission of historians to study the history of the party.

While this topic was soon off the table, another has been causing turbulence for months: The raid on the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and counterterrorism is attributed by the opposition to the Interior Minister: His secretary general or his cabinet orchestrated the investigation against the civil intelligence and the Public prosecutor’s office under pressure. The investigative committee set up by the opposition is also increasingly promoting material that supports this thesis. And for the first time, even subtle cracks in the coalition can be seen: The ÖVP was reluctant to support the interior minister, who was self-confident and pro-active in the parliamentary sessions.

International pillory. It was Kickl who immediately created the next uproar in the coalition: The statement of the Ministry spokesman to the police press offices to restrict information to certain media to the minimum required by law, the accusation of restricting freedom of the press with him. Austria also suddenly stood on the pillory internationally. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz publicly distanced himself from the coalition partner for the first time.

In terms of content, two projects led to coarser protests: the first was the abolition of the smoking ban in the catering industry, which had already been decided upon by the FPÖ, against which a broad alliance was formed. Almost 900,000 people signed a referendum against it, it was one of the most successful referendums in history. Turquoise blue have announced that they want to stick to it.

The subject of working time flexibilization is not over yet. The fact that the twelve-hour day or the 60-hour week was brought into parliament just as the ÖGB Congress was over, outraged the union, which showed with a mass demonstration that they were still in a position is to mobilize. She now wants to settle the wage negotiations in the autumn with high demands on employers – strike not excluded.

Sources: Die Presse

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