Advertising affair – old emails cause new commotion

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Because they did not see their interests being sufficiently supported, several companies announced a few years ago to the Vorarlberg Entrepreneurs’ Association that they would no longer place advertisements in the then Entrepreneurs’ Newspaper “Vorarlberger Wirtschaft”. This is reported by the “Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung”. The opposition sees a need for clarification.

The “NEUE” based its report on emails to the then director of the Economic Association, Walter Natter, who then sent the emails to the state economic councilor Karlheinz Rüdisser (ÖVP). The emails are now stored sealed in the state archives, but the newspaper was able to view copies. In it, for example, a major food retailer active throughout Austria complains about a “lack of support”, and two cable car companies from Lech am Arlberg once again called for support. The placement of the advertisement is therefore being considered.

There are apparently no answers from Rüdisser to these letters. Rüdisser told ORF Radio Vorarlberg that he had received numerous such emails during his time as a member of the government. However, he did not respond due to lack of responsibility.

The opposition is sceptical
NEOS club chairman Johannes Gasser saw “the appearance arising as if political favors in the country house could be ordered from the ÖVP through advertisements in the Wirtschaftsbundzeitung”. The designated party leader of the SPÖ, Mario Leiter, called for “a full clarification by Governor Wallner and an end to the tactic.” The e-mail traffic that has become public is damaging Vorarlberg as a business location. And the Greens, partners of the ÖVP in the state government, also demanded legal and political clarification. She will continue to fight for a ‘useful law from the U-committee’, says Green party leader Eva Hammerer.

“Without any basis”
However, the current director of the Economic Association, Christoph Thoma (ÖVP), was surprised by the article. “What this essentially leads to is that a member of an interest group – and that is the business association – demands support for his concerns from that same interest group. “I don’t know what is supposed to be surprising, reprehensible or even ‘explosive’ about it,” Thoma said. The letters mentioned in the article are eight and nine years old. The attempt to link advertisements from 2015 that were not placed to technical decisions of the Vorarlberg state government has no basis whatsoever.

Source: Krone

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