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“We’ll put on our boxing gloves and fight for Ried.”

“We’ll put on our boxing gloves and fight for Ried.”
The deputy mayors Peter Stummer (SPÖ) and Thomas Dim (FPÖ)

There was no approval for the 2024 budget at the Ried local council meeting on Thursday evening. For a balanced budget, a majority vote would have been necessary for a profit distribution of 1.7 million euros from the city’s own Energie Ried, the Innviertler Nachrichten reported.

The secret vote ended with 16 yes votes and 20 no votes. On Friday, the red deputy mayor Peter Stummer and FPÖ deputy city boss Thomas Dim invited people to a joint press conference. A rather rare constellation. “It might seem like we’re the bad guys, but that’s not the case. Nobody wants us to become a hardship compensation community (departure community, editor’s note). The causes of the situation lie in the financial equalization negotiations in the federal government and, above all, in a wrong, green funding policy,” said Dim. The focus is on the cities and communities completely forgotten and left them in the lurch. “Ried is not alone with this problem. On the contrary, there are countless communities that feel this way,” Dim said.

Despite the many savings and financial cuts that have been worked out, 1.7 million euros are still missing from the budget. Things simply cannot continue like this. As a city, we did our homework conscientiously, but even that wasn’t enough,” said Dim and Stummer. “Mayor Bernhard Zwielehner presented himself to the state, but in our opinion he wasn’t even taken seriously there,” said Dim. The red-blue duo appeared combative: “We’re now putting on our boxing gloves and fighting for Ried. There must be proper negotiation results after the National Council election at the latest so that the municipalities can once again cope with their core tasks.”

“Worked out by ignorant people”

“Everyone has seen the cuts we have to make. Our hearts bleed as Social Democrats when we are forced to cancel the heating subsidy totaling 80,000 euros for the financially weak. The fact is that the federal and state governments have increased spending on municipalities by 17 percent. However, revenue only increased by five percent. Last year’s budget was already one of difficulty. In addition, the expenses for SHV contributions will continue to rise in the coming years,” says Stummer. The federal financial equalization is a “complete catastrophe” that was apparently drawn up by “unsuspecting people,” said Stummer. Every euro was turned over twice in meetings that lasted days, but it still didn’t come to a close.

Dim: ÖVP reacted ruefully

Dim said he had the feeling that no one in the ranks of the ÖVP Ried dared to stand up to build up pressure. “They know that those responsible for the current misery come from their own party and yet they reacted very pityingly,” said Dim, whose party, among other things, would like to present plans this week for the price of admission to Ried’s facilities.

Dim and Stummer believe it is entirely possible that Ried will actually become a hardship compensation community. “We are not allowed to sell our family silver and thus destroy it.” A solution is finally needed. “I am very happy to accompany and support Mayor Zwielehner at his appointments in the country.

When asked whether, in their opinion, the “political house blessing” with the ÖVP was now going wrong, the two deputy city leaders replied: “No, not at all. But other solutions are needed for the communities; this is not just about Ried. You can feel more or less sorry for Zwielehner. It certainly didn’t do a bad job, with the exception of the citizen participation process. Money was ‘wasted’ there.

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Source: Nachrichten

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