• Austria's news in English

New law lets minority parties start probes

The Local · 11 Jul 2014, 11:15

Published: 11 Jul 2014 11:15 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to the plan which was presented on Thursday a quarter of all 183 members of parliament could set up an investigation committee. Such a committee would be chaired by the speakers in parliament assisted by a retired judge. It would have a maximum duration of 20 months and was to end four months before an election date.

Only Team Stronach opposed this agreement which should be passed as a law in autumn.

SPÖ faction leader in parliament Andreas Schieder said that the agreement was a good compromise putting parliamentary work on a new level. His ÖVP counterpart Reinhold Lopatka was convinced that the opposition parties would use the right to set up an investigation committee very soon.

Roland Düringer presented 49,000 signatures supporting a parliamentary investigation into the Hypo scandal.  Photo: APA (Pfarrhofer)

Story continues below…

It was expected that a parliamentary investigation into the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank would be started shortly after the new law had been passed.

Unaffordable guarantees granted by the late far-right leader Jörg Haider's regional government in Carinthia forced Austria to buy Hypo from Germany's Bayern Landesbank in 1999 for a symbolic one euro, or else see the province go under a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Since 2008, Austrian taxpayers have had to contribute €5.5 billion (US$7.5 billion) to the ailing bank. This is likely to lead to a budget shortfall doubling to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, as well as boosting state debt to 80 percent of gross domestic product.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available