BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK
Austrian minister survives vote
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel (R) listens to Austrian Justice Minister during confidence debate
Boehmdorfer (eft) has embarrassed Chancellor Schuessel's government
By Paul Brennan in Vienna

The Austrian justice minister has survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament.

The vote follows recent criticism of the right-wing minister and Freedom Party member in the European Union's report on the political climate in Austria.

Earlier this month the European Union lifted diplomatic sanctions that were imposed on the country seven months ago when the far-right Freedom Party entered the ruling coalition.

An EU panel of expert advisers had concluded that the sanctions were proving counter-productive.

Singled out

The report by the three-man EU panel found little fault with members of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party actually involved in government - with one exception.

Exleader Joerg Haider
The minister is seen as an attack dog for Joerg Haider
That was Justice Minister Dieter Boehmdorfer, whom the panel accused of making xenophobic statements and generally being an attack dog for the Freedom Party's strongman, Joerg Haider.

Even after EU sanctions were lifted, the controversy surrounding Mr Boehmdorfer refused to die down.

In recent days, the opposition has charged the justice minister with trying to silence any criticism of the Freedom Party's coalition with the conservative People's Party.

He was even accused of abusing his power after he called in the police to clear reporters from the area around his home.

Party voting

The vote of no-confidence was brought by the opposition Social Democrats and Greens and few had given it any chance of passing.

Indeed, the vote went strictly along party lines, with the two coalition partners using their majority to easily defeat the motion.

So Mr Boehmdorfer stays on as justice minister, but he and the Freedom Party in general are unlikely to enjoy any let-up in criticism from their many opponents.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

13 Sep 00 | Media reports
Austrian press hails end to sanctions
08 Sep 00 | Europe
EU told: 'End Austria sanctions'
04 Jul 00 | Europe
Austrians to vote over sanctions
29 Jun 00 | Europe
Austria agrees to EU peace plan
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories