Mayors may slash culture spending, poll shows

A vast majority of the mayors of Austria’s debt-ridden towns could imagine cutting back subsidies for cultural events.A poll among Austria’s mayors has found 95 per cent would reduce financial support for local arts and culture events were they forced to slash their annual budget. Magazine profil further reports today (Mon) the OGM research found that 92 per cent could imagine lowering of spending on immigrants integration measures.Eighty per cent of questioned mayors said they expect being forced to make spending cuts over the next few years.People’s Party (ÖVP) Finance Minister Josef Pröll explained earlier this year he wanted Austria’s communities to spend an overall 700 million Euros less in 2010 to help the federal government getting the state budget in order.Community Union representatives have claimed the country’s towns and cities will be unable to participate considering their dire financial state.Pröll further announced plans to spend 1.7 billion Euros less on federal level next year while tax takings will soar by 1.7 billion Euros.The Austrian budget deficit soared from 0.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent year on year last year. The coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and ÖVP must reduce it by at least 0.5 per cent by 2013 to avoid sanctions from the European Union (EU).