Are the Greens Fit to Govern?

German language media translated for TVR's Media Monitor

News | Vienna Review | July / August 2012

The collapse of the coalition government between the conservative ÖVP and the Green Party in the Styrian capital of Graz at the end of May raised serious doubts whether the latter might be a reliable partner for national government. Nevertheless, the Green Party is junior partner in regional governments of Upper Austria and Vienna, and has obtained a higher approval in recent opinion polls in Austria’s capital as well as in Graz after Mayor Siegfried Nagl of the ÖVP ended the coalition.

Nagl Ends Coalition [An den Nagl gehängt], 6 June

by Maria Motter & Donja Noormofidi

Ever since the Conservative-Green Coalition took office in the city in 2008, it was seen as a daring political experiment, yet it offered the opportunity of a flagship project in Austria. However, last Wednesday [30 May 2012] just eight months ahead of the scheduled local elections of January 2013, Mayor Nagl, ended the coalition.

Its cause was a trifling matter: The Green Party wanted to delay the non-binding referendum with regards to the purchase of the 54 hectare large Reininghaus area in the west of Graz from June to autumn. But what are the true reasons for this separation? And should not the Greens [Green Party] themselves have ended the coalition much earlier?

[…] Nagl, the conservative who has frequently come up with additional restrictions for Graz, and the open lesbian and leftist-Green Lisa Rücker – an explosive combination right from the start. More than once was the coalition close to collapse, especially when Nagl continued to promote a ban for begging in public, despite the exclusion of this issue in their co-operation agreement.


The Greens, 1 June

by Hans Rauscher

The Greens have come a long way, ready to take political responsibility and join city and provincial governments – like in Vienna, Upper Austria and until recently, in Graz. The Greens are problematic – viewing the matter as a potential partner – because one can never be sure whether their "base" would torpedo, block or overturn decisions of the Green government members.

The Conservative-Green coalition in Graz failed due to the inner tensions of the Greens. Nevertheless, they are enormously important for Austria’s political landscape and culture: in fact, they are the only party with reliable anti-rightist and humanitarian stance, and free of corruption. What they are lacking to a certain degree, however, is the understanding of a functioning market-economy, as well as the insight of what political responsibility means. Could that still be achieved?


Setback for "Greens" Willing to Govern, 1 June

by Iris Bonavida & Karl Ettinger

The Mayor of Graz indirectly tripped up [Green] Party boss Eva Glawischnig, who put relentless effort in presenting the Greens as a reliable partner for government in next year’s general elections. With [Maria] Vassilakou’s Social Democratic-Green coalition in Vienna of 2010, [Rudi] Anschober’s Conservative-Green premiere of 2003 in Upper Austria and Rücker’s Conservative-Green alliance in Graz, Glawischnig and the party leadership sought to demonstrate that the Greens are fit for government – dispersing fears of an end to the political world, like in the 1990s.

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