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Austria

Yearbook 2012

Austria. In January, President Heinz Fischer withdrew an award that Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), would receive after ten years in government service. The reason was that Strache said that his followers were like Jews during Nazism, thus persecuted, because of a demonstration against an annual ball organized by right-wing extremists and which collided with the Holocaust Remembrance Day. Strache again ended up in blustery weather when he posted an anti-Semitic cartoon drawing on Facebook in August.

2012 Austria

According to countryaah, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's in January lowered Austria's credit rating one step due to negative outlook. In February, Moody's did the same. In the same month, the government presented a tightening plan of over € 26 billion to bring the budget deficit in line with EU rules. These were mainly expenditure cuts, but a third consisted of tax increases, especially for high-income earners. In 2011, the budget deficit was just above the EU ceiling of 3%.

At the same time, Austria had the lowest unemployment rate in the euro zone, just over 4%.

A new Euro-skeptical party, Team Stronach für Österreich, was formed in September. Five parliamentarians soon joined the party, which was thus represented in the National Council. Opinion polls showed support of around 10% of voters. Founder Frank Stronach was an 80-year-old Austrian who returned home after spending over half a century in Canada, where he built up the successful auto company Magna International and became one of the world's richest men. Stronach was opposed to the euro as it hurt Europe's competitiveness.

A previously unknown piano piece by Mozart was performed for the first time in March, in the composer's childhood home in Salzburg and on a piano that was his. The piece had been found in a notebook from 1780 on a wind in Tyrol and was believed to have been composed by Mozart when he was ten years old.

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