The SPÖ converted its traditional May Parade at Rathausplatz in Vienna to some kind of unofficial election campaign. Chancellor and head of the SPÖ Werner Faymann appealed to his party officials to put “every effort” in the time before the elections.
“If the debate at the end of September is: do you want a neoliberal government or a social democratic government, we will remember the government of ÖVP and FPÖ that showed where they took our country during economic boom with the highest unemployment”, the chancellor said.
He asks his fellow party members to convince many people in the next weeks and months that they will have to “choose a direction” in regards to child care institutions, a social health system or social housing.
The alternative would be a “society of greed, a neoliberal society, where everything is privatized”, Mr Faymann warned.
In his speech, the chancellor also dealt with intensely discussed topics of tax and bank secrecy law. He said that it is “important that Austria is at the top in the struggle against tax evasion in the world and Europe”.
“We are not the lobbyists of tax fraudsters, we are not the lobbyists of producers of pesticides, we are the lobbyists of employees”, the chancellor assured the crowd.
Mayor Michael Häupl also demanded transparency – in particular for banks. He further stated that the wealthy people of the society should make a fair contribution to the reduction of national debt.
Vice mayor Renate Brauner and Erich Foglar, president of the Federation of Trade Unions, confirmed that only a social democratic government could meet these challenges.