Two people sat at the studio desk in ZiB 2 on Sunday. Moderator Armin Wolf and SPÖ Chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner. But another person seemed to be in the room, even if not physically present: Burgenland’s governor Hans Peter Doskozil. It took almost 30 seconds before Doskozil was discussed for the first time. And he would be many more times.
Most recently, the Social Democrats had shone in nationwide polls. The SPÖ was far ahead in first place, but has now slipped behind the FPÖ. But why? “Because we spend too much time in public with internal discussions,” said Rendi-Wagner. You cannot “force Doskozil to work together” or “prescribe” cooperation. Rendi-Wagner does not believe that Doskozil’s constant attacks could damage the party and its public image. “With every further request to speak from Burgenland, the unity in the party increases,” was her answer. She ruled out setting up an arbitral tribunal to get the governor of Burgenland expelled from the party. But she prefers to talk about content. But that didn’t work properly.
“Constant Math Lessons”
Rendi-Wagner’s big plan to abolish VAT on staple foods also caused the party leader to have a massive need for explanation. DThe abolition would cost 1.5 billion euros, moderator Wolf calculated with reference to an application by the SPÖ federal parliamentary group. Or “only” 500 to 700 million euros, as Rendi-Wagner explains.
Wolf replied that the savings were not as great as the SPÖ was rumored to be. Rendi-Wagner promises “300 to 400 euros savings per year for every household”, but according to Wolf it is only 120 euros. The answer: “How effective is it if we constantly do math lessons in interviews? We know that there are savings of several hundred euros.”
When it came to migration, Doskozil’s ghost should reappear. Four years ago, he worked out a position paper with Carinthia’s governor Peter Kaiser. The fact that she did not see an asylum crisis in the summer talks does not contradict her current position. Because not the asylum seekers, but dhe high number of “irregular migration” is currently the problem. The SP boss also had a culprit ready: Hungary.
Wouldn’t it be their duty to step aside if polls showed that someone else – and again Doskozil in the room – could lead the party better, asked Wolf. According to Rendi-Wagner, she will exercise her rights as the “first woman in social democracy” and stand as the top candidate.
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