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Stronach plans political comeback

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Stronach plans political comeback
Frank Stronach. Photo: APA/Hahn
10:20 CEST+02:00
The Austrian Canadian industrialist Frank Stronach intends to campaign for the regional election in Styria which will take place in 2015, he told the daily Kurier newspaper on Monday.

The 81-year-old billionaire entered Austrian politics in 2011 and launched a party, Team Stronach (TS), in September 2012. In the general elections it reached around 5.7 percent, falling far short of the party's goals. 

Sixteen months after founding TS, Stronach left parliament.

At first, Stronach roused some interest with promises which included tax breaks for big companies, and less government involvement. The party is eurosceptic (but not anti-immigration), and advocates cutting bureaucracy and introducing a flat-rate income tax of 25 percent.

The party had some success in the provinces, even becoming part of the government in Salzburg province.

In general elections TS reached only around 5.7 percent, or 11 members of parliament (out of 183), despite earlier poll results which suggested the party would gain as much as ten percent.

Stronach would not be heading the candidate list in Styria, he said. He plans to support the electoral campaign, but does not want to support the campaign financially. "The federal party has enough money," he said.

It’s still unclear who will lead the campaign in Styria. There is no decision yet as to whether TS will run for all four regional elections in 2015. "Only if we find suitable front-runners," Stronach said

The self-made billionaire, who founded an international automotive parts company, also said that he was not in favour of a tax on the wealthy - he said he thinks the rich already pay enough taxes in Austria and increasing the tax they pay would drive them out of the country.

He added that he doesn’t want to pay more tax just so that it can “flow back into the banks” but would prefer to donate to social projects of his choosing.





 

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