Gerald Klug becomes new defence minister

The current defence minister Norbert Darabos will go back to the headquarters of the Social democratic party (SPÖ). His successor will be Gerald Klug who has been chairman of the SPÖ in the Austrian Federal Council.

Gerald Klug was born in 1968 in Graz (South-Eastern Austria). He completed an apprenticeship in metalworking and started working for Siemens afterwards. He began studying in the 1990ies and graduated from his law degree in 2001.

The trade unionist started his political career in the Chamber of Labour. He joined the Federal Council representing the SPÖ in 2005.

Mr Klug stated in an interview that the Federal Council was not a place for politicians that are not needed, but a training ground for higher positions.

“In my opinion, the Federal Council would be a great place for young people who are interested in politics, if the Council is not significantly reformed. One can get a lot of experience there”, Mr Klug said.

The future defence minister does not consider the Federal Council to be powerless and politically unimportant: “The tasks in the area of the national legislation have changed significantly in the light of the European development”, he said.

The Federal Council proposed legislation for the first time two years ago. Mr Klug thinks that this was a historic step, “because a legislative initiative of the Federal Council without any preliminary discussions in the National Council occurs very rarely.”

Gerald Klug is also member of the Federal Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party. The future defence minister served in the army from 1987 to 1988.