Majority want ÖIAG axed, poll shows

More than six in 10 Austrians want a dissolution of the Austrian industry-holding stock corporation (ÖIAG), according to a poll.Researchers IFES said today (Mon) 61 per cent supported a possible shutdown of the body, while 30 per cent backed its continued existence.The future of ÖIAG and responsibilities has been publicly debated by the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the People’s Party (ÖVP) for many months. While SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann and the party’s financial issues secretary Andreas Schieder called for a dissolution of the holding, ÖVP boss Josef Pröll suggested it would be assigned with additional tasks to strengthen its position.News that a majority of Austrians want ÖIAG to be dissolved come just weeks after it was claimed the holding’s head Peter Michaelis charged it with paying more than 800 Euros for express deliveries of CDs, DVDs, a spyglass and other private belongings to the United States and Germany.A spokeswoman for ÖIAG dismissed such reports. She said: “Mr Michaelis has always refunded all private expenses, of course.”.Michaelis earns around 750,000 Euros a year. IFES found that 73 per cent of Austrians want him to be replaced.ÖIAG currently manages the Republic of Austria’s interest in oil firm OMV, postal service company Post AG and market-leading mobile services provider Telekom Austria (TA).The holding, which has 22 employees, managed the purchase of a major stake of Austrian Airlines (AUA) to Lufthansa last year. The Vienna-based airline was sold to the German aviation firm to avoid its collapse. The SPÖ-ÖVP coalition controversially decided to bolster AUA with 500 million Euros shortly before the takeover by Lufthansa.