Austrian History – The Coalitions Since 1983 Part I

After the SPÖ lost its absolute majority in the National Council elections in April 1983, Kreisky resigned as Federal Chancellor; his successor F. Sinowatz (SPÖ) led a coalition of SPÖ and FPÖ (reorganized several times) from 1983-86. The election of K. Waldheim as Federal President in the second ballot (June 8, 1986; in office until 1992) led to fierce controversies: The disputes over his past as an officer in the German Wehrmacht led to Sinowatz’s resignation as Federal Chancellor and to foreign policy burdens. On June 16, 1986, F. Vranitzky took over (SPÖ) the office of Federal Chancellor, who after the break of the SPÖ / FPÖ coalition (September 1986) and the elections of November 23, 1986 (especially strong gains for the FPÖ, entry of the Greens into the federal parliament) in January 1987 with the ÖVP formed a second government of the grand coalition (renewed after the elections of October 7, 1990).

According to, interregional cooperations such as Arge Alp and Arge Alpen-Adria have been expanded. There was violent domestic political turmoil around the FPÖ, in which J. Haider took over the lead in 1986 (until 2000). With its right-wing national and right-wing populist program, the party was able to gain increasing votes in state parliament and national council elections until 1999.

On May 24, 1992 the population elected T. Klestil, the candidate of the ÖVP, as Federal President in the second ballot (in office since July 8, 1992). He was re-elected in 1998, this time as a non-partisan candidate. The tightening of the asylum law initiated by the Vranitzky government sparked a domestic political controversy; the referendum on the “foreigner question” (“Austria first”) initiated by Haider and the FPÖ in January 1993 was unsuccessful.

From 1993 there were letter bomb attacks against public figures. In the elections to the National Council on October 9, 1994, which enormously strengthened the opposition (FPÖ, since January 1995 Die Freiheitlichen; Greens), the very weakened SPÖ nevertheless maintained its leading position and, under Chancellor Vranitzky , again formed a large group together with the ÖVP Coalition that came about again after its break with the ÖVP and early elections on December 17, 1995 (including strengthening the SPÖ). After Vranitzky’s resignation, V. Klima (SPÖ) took over the leadership of this coalition at the end of January 1997.

In the National Council elections on October 3, 1999, the FPÖ became the second strongest party for the first time, after the SPÖ and just ahead of the ÖVP. After failed negotiations between the SPÖ and the ÖVP to continue the grand coalition, a government was only formed under Federal Chancellor W. Schüssel (ÖVP) on February 4, 2000 and after Haider resigned from the chairmanship of the FPÖ (FPÖ-ÖVP coalition). Before that, both parties had committed themselves to a declaration on the “basic values ​​of European democracy” (a prerequisite for Federal President Klestil). At the same time, EU sanctions for the political isolation of Austria came into force automatically, which only came into force on September 13, 2000 after Schüssel had set a deadlinehave been repealed. On October 24th, 2000, the Federal Government of Austria signed an agreement with the USA, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine on the compensation of Nazi forced laborers.

Austria: rulers and heads of state

Rulers and heads of state
The margraves of the Babenberg. Mark or from Austria (976-1156); the dukes (1156–1453) and the ruling archdukes (since 1453) of Austria; the kings of Hungary and Bohemia (since 1526/27); the Rom. Kaiser (since 1804 Emperor of Austria); the Federal Presidents of the First and Second Republic
Luitpold I. 976-994
Heinrich I. 994-1018
Adalbert the Victorious 1018-1055
serious 1055-1075
Luitpold II. 1075-1095
Leopold III, the saint 1095-1136
Leopold IV. 1136-1141
(Duke of Bavaria 1139–1141)
Heinrich II. Jasomirgott 1141-1177
(Duke of Bavaria 1143–1156)
Leopold V. 1177-1194
(Duke of Styria 1192–1194)
Friedrich I. 1194-1198
Leopold VI, the glorious 1198-1230
(Duke of Styria 1194-1230)
Frederick II, the controversial 1) 1230-1246
(Duke of Styria 1230-1246)
Albrecht I. 1282 / 83-1308
(Duke of Styria; Roman king since 1298)
Friedrich III., The handsome 1308-1330
(Roman king since 1314)
Otto the Merry 1330-1339
Albrecht II, the lame one 1330-1358
Rudolf IV, the founder 1358-1365
Albrecht III. and Leopold III. 1365-1379
Albertine line (Upper and Lower Austria)
Albrecht III. 1379-1395
Albrecht IV. 1395-1404
Albrecht V. 1404-1439
(Roman King [Albrecht II.] Since 1438)
Leopoldine (Styrian) line (Inner, Upper Austria and Tyrol)
Leopold III. 1379-1386
Wilhelm 1386-1406
younger Styrian branch (Inner Austria)
Leopold IV. 1386-1411
Ernst the Iron 1406 / 11-1424
Friedrich V. 1424 / 35-1493
(Roman king / emperor [Friedrich III.] Since 1440/1452)
older Tyrolean branch (Upper Austria and Tyrol)
Frederick IV 1406-1439
Sigmund 1439-1490
Roman emperor
Maximilian I. 1493-1519
(Roman king / emperor since 1486/1508)
Charles V 1519-1521 / 22
(Roman king / emperor since 1519/30; king of Spain since 1516)
Austrian main line (Austria under and above the Enns [” Lower Austrian land”]; kings of Bohemia and Hungary and Roman emperors)
Ferdinand I. 1521 / 22-1564
(Roman king / emperor since 1531/56; king of Hungary and Bohemia since 1526/27)
Maximilian II 1564-1576
Rudolf II 1576-1608
Matthias 1608-1619
Styrian line (Inner Austria)
Charles II 1564-1590
Ferdinand II. 1590 / 95-1637
(Roman emperor since 1619)
Tyrolean line (Upper Austria and Tyrol [» Upper Austrian Lands«])
Ferdinand II of Tyrol 1564-1595
Maximilian III 1602-1618
Leopold V. 1623-1632
Ferdinand Karl 1632 / 46-1662
Sigmund Franz 1662-1665
Kings of Bohemia and Hungary and Rom. Kaiser or Kaiser of Austria
Ferdinand III. 1637-1657
Leopold I. 1657-1705
Joseph I. 1705-1711
Charles VI 1711-1740
Maria Theresa 1740-1780
Joseph II 1780-1790
Leopold II. 1790-1792
Francis II (I.) 1792-1835
(Roman Emperor 1792–1806; Emperor of Austria since 1804)
Ferdinand I. 1835-1848
Franz Joseph I. 1848-1916
Charles I. 1916-1918
Federal President
Karl Seitz 2) 1919-1920
Michael Hainisch 1920-1928
Wilhelm Miklas 1928-1938
Karl Renner 1945-1950
Theodor Körner 1951-1957
Adolf Schärf 1957-1965
Franz Jonas 1965-1974
Rudolf Kirchschläger 1974-1986
Kurt Waldheim 1986-1992
Thomas Klestil 1992-2004
Heinz Fischer 2004–2016 3)
Alexander Van der Bellen since 2017
1) With Duke Friedrich II, the controversial, the Babenbergs died out in the male line. In female succession, her property came to Margrave Hermann von Baden († 1250), then to King Ottokar II. Přemysl, King of Bohemia. After his death, the property returned to the empire as a settled fiefdom and was handed over to the House of Habsburg by King Rudolf I of Habsburg, who enfeoffed his sons Albrecht I and Rudolf II with it in 1282/83.2) 1st President of the Constituent National Assembly.

3) The term of office of H. Fischer ended on July 8, 2016. The Constitutional Court had previously decided that the runoff election for the office of Federal President must be repeated. Until A. Van der Bellen was sworn in on January 26, 2017, the Presidency of the National Council exercised the functions of head of state.

Austrian History - The Coalitions Since 1983 1

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