The questioning of the Tyrolean ÖVP deputy and cable car boss Franz Hörl in the ÖVP subcommittee was tough on Thursday. There were lengthy debates over the Rules of Procedure from the start, when Greens MP Nina Tomaselli wanted information about Hörl’s donations to the ÖVP in the course of the 2017 National Council election campaign. Hörl referred to “private secrets” and ” business secrets”, but did not get away with it.
“I wish everyone a merry Christmas,” Hörl began his survey – but that was about it for the fun. The ÖVP vehemently opposed questions about Hörl’s donations, but judge Wolfgang Pöschl and chairman Dagmar Belakowitsch (FPÖ) allowed them.
Donations to the ÖVP …
Hörl’s answers did not yield much: he could not rule out that he made a donation to the ÖVP as a private person or one of his companies at the time. He could not recall the amount, and he did not do so expecting any concrete return—”at most, in the expectation of better politics than in the grand coalition at the time”.
… and donations to Hörl
He himself received donations of almost 50,000 euros for his own preference voting campaign in 2017, Hörl said – including 25,000 euros from Zeller Bergbahnen Zillertal GmbH. He can’t remember the other specific donors. And in general: “I am not the donor bank of Tyrol.”
According to Hörl, donations from the Silvretta cable car and the Fisser Bergbahn have been refunded – “because we made a mistake here”. In both cases, the public sector, especially the tourism associations and communities, was involved for more than 25 percent, which is not allowed. “We arranged that right away.”
“I have done nothing different than any other entrepreneur”
The Corona support that Hörl – who also runs a hotel in the Zillertal Valley – received from COFAG was also discussed. This was requested by his tax advisor, who was instructed to hire any help legally possible “out of necessity of the situation” – except the sales replacement. The SPÖ wanted to know why he had received corona support of 158,000 euros in 2020 despite a balance sheet profit of 380,000 euros. On the one hand, the subsidies have already been incorporated into the profit, on the other hand you have to take into account the entire period of the pandemic, says Hörl. And in 2021, for example, sales fell to a fifth. “I’ve done nothing different than any other entrepreneur.”
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.