Linz City Manager Luger – “A more reasonable line-up has prevailed”


He did not like Andreas Babler’s “battle rhetoric” at the SPÖ party conference in Linz. Linz head Klaus Luger is pleased that “the more reasonable, broader line-up has triumphed”, albeit narrowly. Speaking of common sense, he did not think it advisable in all cases to rule out a coalition with the ÖVP at the federal level, as Hans Peter Doskozil did after his freestyle. Read an (unabridged) interview with Luger here.

“crown”:What is your summary of this federal party conference in Linz? The result came pretty close.
Klaus Luger: Well, the mood was actually close, there’s nothing to interpret at all. It was short but clear. I see this very similar to the “crown” today (Sunday edition) in that this is indeed a “victory of reason”. I feel the same way, especially after Babler’s statements in his speech with this 1990s SJ-era battle rhetoric (SJ = Socialist Youth, note). I just believe the more reasonable, broader lineup came out on top for the Social Democracy, but it won.

“Battle rhetoric” aside, the scary result came about in a fairly peaceful atmosphere. At least that’s how I experienced it as a journalistic observer.
Well, I was a little tense because I wasn’t sure if the emotions could get the better of both camps. It used to be a bit adventurous in WhatsApp groups. I was happy and also relieved that it worked emotionally. In the end it was friendly. If I could have wished it, I would have wanted it.

Actually, there is also a nice consequence in this decision: whoever is at the forefront of the membership survey has also achieved a majority in the party congress delegates.
I agree with that. Even though the weather was close, the will of the members was eventually also reflected in the decision of the delegates at the party congress.

The new SPÖ boss Doskozil made some clear coalition announcements after his free choice, especially with whom he does not want to form an alliance. Not with the FPÖ, but also not with the ÖVP. What do you make of it?
For me, this is a matter of pragmatism when it comes to the ÖVP. Two positions are perfectly clear to me. The first explanation: no coalition with the FPÖ. Incidentally, this is in line with all SPÖ resolutions. It is not the case that everyone can form their own opinion at the federal level, that is precisely what has been decided at the moment. The second proposition is the attempt at a traffic light coalition as the ultimate goal. I think that is also what we should strive for politically, and I agree with him on that. And then it starts to get difficult, also for me. Because we see that since the early 1980s there has always been a right-wing majority in National Council elections and no left-centered majority. And if I’m being realistic, or at least looking at the current polls, we’re still a long way from a traffic light coalition and a majority for it.

What then remains?
That is why the statement “also no coalition with the ÖVP” is for me provided that a traffic light goes out. That’s how I understood it. If a traffic light does not go out, then I would, at least in my party, fight for coalition negotiations with the ÖVP, if that works out mathematically, whether we are first or second, for a blue-black government From the perspective of today. But I would also prefer that this ÖVP did not actually have a government function. I think that would purify democratic politics. But if the traffic lights don’t go out, then – that’s how I interpret what Doskozil said – the second variant of the ÖVP is a problem.

Source: Krone


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