Austrian centre-right calls for ban on far-right Identitarians

Austria's centre-right party has said it will insist on banning the far-right Identitarian Movement (IBÖ) as a condition of any coalition after next month's elections.

Austrian centre-right calls for ban on far-right Identitarians
File photo of the Austrian parliament. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP

Such a ban “must be in the next coalition agreement”, ÖVP parliamentary group leader August Wöginger said in a statement released to Austrian media.

The IBÖ, previously best known for its anti-immigration stunts, sparked controversy in Austria earlier this year after it was revealed that its leader Martin Sellner received money and exchanged emails with the suspected perpetrator of gun attacks on mosques in New Zealand in March which left 51 people dead.

The ÖVP's call for the movement to be banned comes as it tries to maintain its commanding poll lead ahead of parliamentary elections on September 29th while at the same time distancing itself from its former coalition partner, the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ).

Austrian media reports have documented numerous links between Identitarian activists and FPÖ party members.

After the ÖVP first floated possible moves against the Identitarians earlier this week, the FPÖ's former Interior Minister Herbert Kickl rejected the possibility of banning the IBÖ, saying such a move would be “a deep attack on the rule of law”.

Wöginger said in his statement that Kickl had become the Identitarians' “principal patron saint”.

The coalition between the ÖVP and the FPÖ was sworn in in late 2017 but was dogged by frequent scandals over extremist statements by FPÖ party members.

The government collapsed in May after a video emerged of the then leader of the FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, appearing to offer public contracts to a fake Russian donor in return for campaign help for the FPÖ.

The scandal prompted Strache to resign as vice-chancellor and led then Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to call fresh elections.

Earlier this week Strache's house was raided as apart of another investigation into possible corruption offences surrounding the appointment of an FPÖ official to a high-ranking position at a gambling corporation.

Despite the scandals, and the recriminations that have flown between the ÖVP and the FPÖ since their coalition collapsed, a fresh government composed of the two parties is seen as one of the most likely outcomes of September's poll.

For members


How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

Politicians in Austria are getting a 5.3 percent salary increase in 2023 as inflation rises in the country. So how much will they earn?

How much do Austrian politicians earn as a monthly salary?

The rising inflation rate, which is expected to be at 10.6 percent in November, is reflected in the salaries of politicians in Austria, according to the official gazette of the Wiener Zeitung.

According to Austrian law, all salaries are calculated based on the income of the members of the National Council, the Austrian Parliament. Next year, they will receive €9,873 gross per month – €497 more than their salaries in 2022. The values were rounded to the whole euro amount. 

READ ALSO: How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

So, how much are the leading politicians going to earn as a monthly gross salary in 2023?

  • Bundespräsident: the head of the Austrian State (Federal President) will earn €26,701 per month. Alexander Van der Bellen was reelected to the position and should stay in the job for six more years
  • Bundeskanzler: the head of the Austrian government (Chancellor) will earn €23,840 per month. That’s the salary of Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), who is expected to run for reelection in the next national elections set for 2024
  • Vizekanzler: the current vice-chancellor is Werner Kögler (Greens), and he is set to earn €20,979 from 2023
  • NR-Präsident: this refers to the leader of the National Council (Nationalrat, in German), who earns €20,026. Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) holds the position
  • Landeshauptleute: this German word literally means “main persons of the province”. (Land means country, but it actually refers to the bundesländer, the country’s states or provinces). These are the current governors of the Austrian provinces, such as Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), mayor of the city-state of Vienna. They’ll earn €19,072 per month
  • Ministerin/Minister: Ministers of the federal government, including Health and Social Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), will earn €19,072 every month
  • Landesrätin/-rat: the provincial councillors should earn €17,771 every month from 2023
  • Staatssekretärin/-sekretär: State secretaries, who play the part of Ministers in the provincial level, will earn €17,165
  • Bundesratsmitglieder: a “member of the Bundesrat”, which is the upper house in the Austrian parliament, will earn €4,936 per month

READ ALSO: Explained: How to understand your payslip in Austria

In Austria, hired employees are paid 14 times per year, with extra salaries ahead of summer holidays and Christmas.

Unless the National Council decides against the pay rise, the increase will come into effect on January 1st 2023.