Plain text was promised, plain text was also delivered a few days before the Tyrolean state elections: the top candidates quite aggressively discussed the hottest topics Ukraine, energy and expensive housing in the “Krone” studio on Wednesday. ÖVP boss Anton Mattle often went on the defensive.
They are important state elections because they are the first since the era of Sebastian Kurz, the first since the start of the war in Ukraine and the first since we really felt inflation in Austria. The elephant round “Krone” on Wednesday evening in Vienna was therefore quite emotional. The topic of energy electrified everyone.
But the first thing on the agenda was the new escalation of the war in Ukraine. “How should the West respond to this?” was the first question from the moderator duo Gundula Geiginger (Puls 24) and Claus Meinert (“Krone”). Georg Dornauer (SPÖ) said every effort should be made to return to the negotiating table. An opinion that everyone could share. Anton Mattle suggested that this should be done under the auspices of the United Nations.
“Europe must now be even closer together,” said NEOS candidate Dominik Oberhofer. Green leader Gebi Mair advised to become independent from gas and oil: “The sun knows no drought and no Putin.” Only the FP was in favor of an end to EU sanctions.
When the lights go out in tourism, “not even in the living room”
The war in Ukraine has greatly accelerated a problem, namely the energy crisis. Prices in the energy sector are going through the roof, not only in Tyrol, but throughout Austria. Saving is an important lever in the energy crisis. But what does that mean for winter tourism, which is so important in Tyrol? Cable car companies want to cut 15 percent of their energy costs, explains Mattle, who also heads the supervisory board for state energy supplier Tiwag.
The winter season must take place: “The guests are looking for relaxation. Tyrol stands for this value.” However, Mair criticized infinity pools at 2000 meters above sea level, such as in the hotel of VP tourism spokesman Mario Gerber. Mattle states that this is heated with pellets.
“Tourism bashing bothers me. If the lights go out in tourism, it doesn’t get light in the living room either,” says FP boss Markus Abwerzger. The energy problem will remain with us longer than just next winter. Does Tyrol need more hydroelectric power stations?
Here, Abwerzger pinpointed a “total VP failure,” which Mattle admitted in one area as well: he admitted there was a backlog in collecting counting points. That’s why 3,000 people who want to put photovoltaics on their roofs can’t do it. And what about wind energy? Cable car spokesman Franz Hörl announced that he would set up several in his ski area. “Tirol has a leading company that exports wind turbines all over the world, but does not build it in Tyrol. And that with 14,000 lift supports,” said NEOS boss Oberhofer in amazement.
Valuation loss at Tiwag 104 million euros?
The FP boss made a valuation loss of 104 million euros at Tiwag: “Has she speculated like Wien Energie?” There were no speculative losses, Mattle confirmed. Abwerzger then challenged Mattle with an ad from the farmers’ association, in which he found a violation of the gift ban. Mattle denied that – without saying that the Farmers’ Union is a sub-organization.
Tyrol occupies a special position in the area of housing and traffic: the highest prices and the highest traffic volume due to 2.5 million trucks on the Brenner. Five years ago, black-green promised a million trucks – and therefore went on the defensive again. A heated discussion, but with conciliatory compliments at the end!