An interesting interview here (in German but Google translate works quite well on this article) in Die Presse with SPÖ Federal Manager Laura Rudas.
The interview sees the opening line of attack on Team Stronach from the SPÖ: ‘Stronach protects the rich and represents a backward-looking policy on Europe.’ It’s noticeable that she also suggests that as there is ‘no common ground’ a coalition including the SPÖ and Team Stronach is not on the agenda, though I don’t think that door is completely closed as Rudas only explicitly rules out entering a future coalition with the Far-Right FPÖ.
While Team Stronach’s main impact has been to take votes from the Far-Right this new Party could also do damage to the SPÖ’s share of the vote, particularly if Stronach (an Austro-Canadian billionaire) is able to successfully pitch the twin lines of representing ‘ordinary working people’ and being an anti-corruption/clean hands.
On the question of the parliamentary anti-corruption committee and the (non)appearance of Werner Faymann, the Austrian Chancellor and SPÖ leader, to answer questions on the alleged advertising scandal Rudas defence did not come over well to this particular (neutral) reader. This issue has already cost them support in the opinion polls and with both the Greens, as well as Team Stronach, able to make a clean hands appeal the SPÖ needs to resolve their position quickly.
On a side note, I rather like one of the Green Party’s current campaign posters which has the slogan ‘100% Bio, 0% Corrupt’. A clear, strong, and simply put message summing up two ideas they want to hammer home.
Returning to the subject of the future composition of the Austrian government, for Laura Rudas the options for coalition after next year’s general election are Red/Green (SPÖ & Greens) or Red/Black (the current Grand Coalition of SPÖ and the conservative ÖVP). For more on the current state of the parties in the opinion polls and future coalitions here’s a more detailed blog post I produced earlier this week.