29. 05. 12. - 15:18
Darabos fails trust check
Norbert Darabos is the least-trusted member of the government coalition, according to a new poll.
The Social Democratic (SPÖ) defence and sport minister has the worst approval rates of all government representatives. The OGM check reveals that the number of people mistrusting Darabos is 37 per cent higher than those who said they supported his policies. Only Martin Graf of the Freedom Party (FPÖ), a right-wing opposition faction, does worst (minus 52 per cent). Graf is the third president of the federal parliament.
Darabos has failed to do well in popularity polls ever since the bitter defeat in the legal wrangle with Edmund Entacher. The defence minister dismissed Entacher as chief of staff of the Austrian army in January 2011 Entacher had warned from getting rid of the conscription system a few days before his sacking.
He told magazine profil that the system, under which more than 25,000 young Austrian men serve six months in the military each year "has proven to be generally functioning and successful". Entacher rejected claims that he was trying to block any kind of structural reforms in the army which has an annual budget of 2.1 billion Euros.
Darabos – who claimed that a smaller, fully-professional troop would not burden the public budget stronger than the current system – had to reassign Entacher last November after an appeal commission formed by public servants working for the chancellor’s office declared his decision to suspend him as unjust.
Darabos promised to press on with reforming the army nevertheless and expressed hopes for a positive dialogue with the back-in-action chief of staff. The defence minister said the army would rake in 17 million Euros by selling around two thirds of its tanks. The deals will help to decrease the military’s operative costs by 15 million Euros a year, according to Darabos.
SPÖ Education Minister Claudia Schmied is the second least-popular government minister at the moment, according to the OGM survey. The number of people showing no trust in Schmied is 11 per cent higher than the group of those who think she does a good job.
Chancellor Werner Faymann and Minister for Public Servants Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek are tied for first place among SPÖ representatives of the government coalition between Social Democrats and the People’s Party (ÖVP) with a plus of four per cent each.
Former SPÖ Science Minister Heinz Fischer – who became Austrian president in 2004 – tops the overall ranking (plus 54 per cent) followed by SPÖ Parliament Speaker Barbara Prammer. The former head of the SPÖ’s women organisation is hotly tipped to run for president in 2016 when Fischer’s second and final term in office ends.
Karlheinz Töchterle is the most popular minister (11 per cent), according to OGM. Töchterle became science minister in May 2011. He was approached by the ÖVP but did not join the party. ÖVP Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner (10 per cent) has a decent approval rate too at 10 per cent. The gap between supporters and critics of ÖVP ministers is the highest for Finance Minister Maria Fekter (19 per cent).