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The Schüssel Era in Austria

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

I. Personality and Leadership

Schüssel and the Media: An Ambivalent Relationship

Günther Lengauer

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The first televised pictures of the new coalition government between the conservative Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, or ÖVP) and the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, or FPÖ) headed by Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel on 4 February 2000 were more than critical and anything but a good start. In front of the Office of the Chancellor, on the Ballhausplatz in Vienna, thousands of strident demonstrators gathered to protest the swearing-in of the ÖVP-FPÖ coalition. Consequently, the designated members of the new government had to take a subterranean passage to get to the inauguration ceremony at the president’s residence, the Hofburg . Additionally, during the preceding weeks the largest Austrian newspaper, Neue Kronen Zeitung, with a daily readership of about three million people and, thus, more than 40 percent of the population at that time, had heavily criticized Wolfgang Schüssel for planning this coalition between Schwarz...

© innsbruck university press, 2010

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