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The Schüssel Era in Austria

 | 
Günter Bischof
, 
Fritz Plasser

II. Policies and Policy Changes

Legacies of the Schüssel Years

Anton Pelinka

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Introduction

Wolfgang Schüssel has been a visible actor in Austrian politics for decades. In the following analysis, the term “Schüssel years” will be used for the years 2000 to 2006 only—a period that can be rightfully called the “Schüssel era.”

Schüssel had been no newcomer to the Austrian government when he was appointed federal chancellor in February 2000, and he did not leave politics after the appointment of his successor, Alfred Gusenbauer, in January 2007. Schüssel had started his career as secretary of the Austrian People’s Party (Österreichische Volkspartei, or ÖVP) caucus in parliament and secretary general of the ÖVP’s Business League (Österreichischer Wirtschaftsbund). A member of parliament, beginning in 1979, he became minister of economic affairs in the coalition of the ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs, or SPÖ), shaped by Franz Vranitzky and Alois Mock, and then—beginning in 1995—ÖVP chairman, vice-chancellor, and m...

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