What the “Krone” already reported on Thursday also happened on Friday. Lower Austria gets its first black and blue state government. At a press conference, Johanna Mikl-Leitner and Udo Landbauer presented the new government and its labor agreement.
Discrepancies in Corona policy, specially adapted ballot papers, delicate departmental assignments, resistance from the artistic scene – even before the swearing-in next Thursday, the new state government in Lower Austria had to overcome many small crises. However, the first tests have all been successful. Both state party executives gave the green light for the black-blue venture in the morning. Political cornerstones of the pact By the middle of the week, the ÖVP and FPÖ originally wanted to agree on a working agreement. Nothing came of it, above all because the FPÖ did not want to be stressed and also wanted to set a scent mark for its own clientele in terms of Corona politics. Farmers demanded compensation up to a “general amnesty” for Covid penalties. Mikl-Leitner then conceded that from the current perspective, the corona vaccination requirement was a “mistake” – a statement that was initially not enough for the Freedom Party. In the middle of the week, however, the content-related hurdles were overcome. It was already announced on Monday that the two parties had agreed on measures relating to integration. For example, the state governor mentioned rules of conduct in school and the principle that the German language should be a basic requirement for funding. This is how the governor’s election works. There could be a middle ground when it comes to the election of the governor. The Freedom Party has always emphasized that it will not vote for Mikl-Leitner at the constituent session of the state parliament on March 23. According to Landbauer, they will not prevent an election of the state governor and will not vote against the ÖVP leader. To make this clear enough, the ballot papers for the vote were even specially adapted – as the “Krone” revealed. It is fixed that the 14 FPÖ MPs vote invalid. With the 23 ÖVP representatives with a total of 56 mandataries, the required majority would be achieved. Only valid votes count. Why the “grand” coalition failed The People’s Party initially started “deeper talks” about cooperation with the SPÖ last week. A compromise was found on four out of five publicly stated conditions, said the new-old ÖVP party manager Bernhard Ebner. “The SPÖ wanted to implement their five points by hook or by crook,” he says. In total, there were over 200 demands from the Reds, some of which the party manager described as “unaffordable” and “unacceptable”. The Social Democrats would have “overstretched the bow and gambled with it”. SPÖ: “Holzhacker Coalition” “With Landbauer, Waldhäusl and Co., the ÖVP has found tame bedside rugs to maintain its absolutist claim to power. This Kickl-Mikl pact is not a reputation for Lower Austria. Point by point, the SPÖ will seek majorities in the state parliament for a social and democratic Lower Austria,” says the new SPÖ club chairman Hannes Weninger. According to “Krone” information, there should be a conversation with the SPÖ club on Monday. The Social Democrats will then find out how many funds will be available to them for government work over the next five years. Due to the proportional system, the SPÖ will belong to the government with two provincial councilors. Criticism of the “Kickl-Mikl-Pakt” Already on Wednesday, several Lower Austrian artists and the President of the Jewish Community Vienna (IKG), Oskar Deutsch, openly spoke out against cooperation between ÖVP and FPÖ. According to media reports, the association “Welcome – to finding a new home” saw democracy in danger in an open letter together with eight other organizations on Thursday and thus lost the absolute majority in the state parliament and for the first time also in the state government. The FPÖ achieved a record result with 24.19 percent and replaced the Social Democrats in second place. Like the blacks, the reds (20.65 percent) also had their worst result in the state since 1945. The Greens again reached club strength with 7.59 percent, the NEOS came to 6.67 percent.