Erwin Pröll (ÖVP), governor of Lower Austria, suggested taxing the rich “to prevent London-like conditions in Austria”.
Pröll said that he feared for the social peace the tighter the national and international financial situation was getting.
He had started a lively tax discussion in the ÖVP by suggesting higher taxes for top earners. On Thursday, he fuelled the fire by calling the measure an “emotionally important signal” in a conversation with Germany’s chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück.
ÖVP Finance Minister Maria Fekter called Pröll’s suggestion “shooting from the hip” while ÖVP Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner declared that Pröll’s suggestion would only serve to create headlines.