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Austria: a year after the FPO crept to power, who benefitted ?

by London Saturday, Dec. 09, 2000 at 3:07 PM

In Austria, the regime of Haider's laughably named "Freedom" party may serve as an example of what to expect from a corporate state.

Every so often, the Financial Times of London publishes surveys of selected countries, with tasty tips for sharedealers, investors and other crooks. The latest, on Austria, provided some fascinating insights into the benficiaries of Haider's manoeuvrings.

When asked the question "Has Austria changed", here are some replies:

"we are finally discussing the reform of our welfare system. More and more people understand that every government service has a price. There is no such thing as a free lunch. [cliche: copyright Milton Friedman]... Market disciplines are being introduced into areas such as education and private insurance for old age..."

C. Raidl, Chief exec, Boehler Uddeholm

"... the new government has made some quite beneficial changes."

A Triechl, chief exec, Erste Bank

".... the vision of an open minded, liberal Austria, which takes civil rights seriously and offers artists and intellectuals a stimulating atmosphere, has changed. i am afraid the that the country is closing its mind."

A van der Bellen, Green Party

"The new coalition is more like a catalyst. it has an agenda which is an Austrian version of Thatcherism... Jorg Haider, is still not really compatible with European democracy"

Anton Pelinka, Uni of Innsbruck

"It used to be the case in Austria that if you did not play the violin, you were not accepted. There was a culture of mediocrity... [what?]"

HP Meltzer, Chief exec, NewLogic

In addition, here are some other gems in the survey:

"Locate in Carinthia... Carinthia has the highest aviailbility of skilled workers in Austria. At wage costs 15% below average."

Business advert for Haider's regional power base.

"SAAB- BAE SYSTEMS Gripen is looking for... expansion into Austria. if you are looking for opportunities for investment, procurement, or technology co-operation... boosting your business interests in Austria"

Arms company advert

"The Financial Times is delighted to announce the opening in Austria of its Vienna office."

Self- publicity for the paper

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