It was a real bang that echoed through the entire Innsbruck political landscape on Thursday morning. After the recent escalations surrounding Mayor Georg Willi’s personnel policy, three municipal council members left the Greens Club and immediately founded a new list. For the ÖVP, this step was long overdue, the SPÖ says that the “way for the cooperation of the reasonable” is now free. The FPÖ speaks of “Willi’s political downfall”. Willi himself respected the decision, he does not think about resigning.
The previous Green councilors Thomas Lechleitner, Marcela Duftner and Renate Krammer-Stark were obviously fed up and announced their departure from the club. Mayor Georg Willi was completely taken by surprise with this news, but said a little later: “This democratic step is to be respected. I’m just surprised that I didn’t find out anything beforehand.” “Loss of basic values” The resigned trio immediately announced the founding of their own list called “Innsbruck worth living in – a city for everyone”. Club chairwoman will be Marcela Duftner. All three are committed to the basic values “grassroots democracy, non-violent ecological, solidarity, feminist and self-determined”, which are more important than ever as guidelines for overcoming current and future crises. “There are many reasons for our decision, which we struggled with long and hard. The obvious loss of these basic values in the Georg Willi list is just one of them,” said a statement. “This resignation of the three municipal councils is long overdue and absolutely understandable. It is a clear sign that many in the Green Party no longer want to support the autocratic leadership style of Georg Willi and Uschi Schwarzl. Marcela Duftner, Thomas Lechleitner and Renate Krammer-Stark took the consequences late, but distanced themselves from Willi’s power politics,” emphasized VP club chairman Christoph Appler. But it is also clear that “Georg Willi is politically massively weakened and more and more lose the support not only in their own ranks, but also in the population,” Appler continued. The Greens were previously represented by ten members in the Innsbruck municipal council. SPÖ: “Cooperation of the reasonable” “We have often wondered about what the green municipal council club put up with and support. But the jug just goes to the well until it breaks,” explained Irene Heisz from the Innsbruck Social Democrats. “If the mayor now loses a third of his municipal council club, one has to say: the jug is irretrievably shattered into a thousand pieces.” For the SPÖ, “the way is now clear for cooperation between the sensible.” FPÖ shakes hands with ex-Greens “Georg Willi’s political downfall has now begun,” said FPÖ Deputy Mayor Markus Lassenberger, who stretched out his hand to the three ex-Greens to cooperate. “We don’t exclude anyone, so we invite Liberals to political cooperation for the people of Innsbruck and the employees of the magistrate, especially in these times cooperation is very important,” said Lassenberger. Willi is not thinking of resigning that Willi immediately offers to resign so that things can calm down.” But the mayor doesn’t even think about it. “I am directly elected mayor. And if a majority wants to vote me out, they can do it. But I am elected by the people and this decision must be put to a referendum. The people of Innsbruck should be asked whether they still want me or not. And not the municipal council. The trigger for the latest trench warfare was a critical control office report on the city manager’s personnel policy. Among other things, high allowances, special treatment and contracts for individual employees in Willis’ environment and special agreements for the HR manager were questioned and criticized. Willi forestalled her dismissal by dissolving it and creating a “Personnel Management” department that reported to him. The employee concerned has since resigned from her position.