A first in Austria: A 'turquoise-green' government

ISTANBUL
Published 30.12.2019 17:11
Updated 02.01.2020 00:55

First of all, I would like to wish all of my readers Happy New Year.

My wish for the coming year is peace and tranquillity for everyone. While realistically we know that this is very difficult, working for the peace and tranquillity of all human beings should be our goal.

For Austria, 2020 means excitement in any case. Not only for Austrians but for all of Europe a brand new government model is emerging.

The Greens became government partners on a federal level in Germany. With the Social Democrats (SPD)-Greens coalition that they have formed with the leadership of Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer, they even became successful.

On a provincial level, the Greens are in a position of coalition governments both with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the SPD. Currently, in many provinces of Germany the Greens are in the government. In fact, in Baden Württtemberd province there is a Green prime minister. Winfried Kretschmann, who acted as the prime minister of a Greens-SPD provincial government after winning the election has participated as a prime minister and is now on the job as a Greens-CDU provincial government prime minister. In short, in Germany, the Greens have proved themselves in government many times.

However to this day, within Germany, there has never been a CDU/Christan Social Union (CSU)-Greens government experience on the federal level. After the last federal parliament (Bundestag) elections the CDU/CSU-Greens and Free Democratic Party (FDP), in an attempt to form a federal government, conducted talks for a coalition but at the last minute, the FDP did not accept this model.

With high probability, if after the federal parliament elections to be held in 2021 in Berlin a CDU/CSU-Greens federal coalition is formed, we wouldn't be surprised.

Concerning this matter, Vienna acted faster than Berlin. Austria is about to be a pioneer for Europe in a new government model of a "Turquoise-Greens federal government" on a national level.

In Germany, the "CDU-Greens" coalition, which is depicted as a "Black-Green" coalition, is actually a "conservative-green coalition government."

Now the equivalent of this model in Austria; an Austria Peoples Party (ÖVP) and Greens coalition is about to be formed.

The colors of these two parties "turquoise and green" will be side by side for the first time.

After the latest federal elections held in Austria, the ÖVP, which became the number one party once again by receiving 37.5%, have come to an agreement with the Greens as the fourth party in the assembly with a vote percentage of 13.9%, following a long period of discussion whose contents are always kept a secret. In fact, after the breaking up of the FPÖ, the Greens are actually the third party within the assembly.

It has been predicted that Austria's old Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz will probably be the new president in 2020, with Werner Kogler as vice president. The duo has succeeded in cooperating though many in Austria and Europe doubted the partnership. It was indeed a very difficult job for the two parties who seemed to be too very far away from each other to form a five-year government partnership on a federal level.

Kurz and Kogler managed to overcome this difficulty with patience and determination.

According to the news in Austrian media, the ÖVP once again is going to be the party responsible for internal affairs, the treasury, defence and similar ministries. In contrast, the Greens will be the party with a "super ministry" that will be responsible for environment, transportation and energy. In addition, it is expected the justice minister will also be a Green politician.

In addition to Kurz's repeated presidency and Kogler's vice presidency, from the ÖVP; European Member of Parliament Karoline Edtstadler, current Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Schallenberg and names like Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Klaudia Tanner, Elisabeth Köstinger, Heinz Faßmann, Sigrid Maurer, Margarete Schramböck, Gernot Blümel, Susanne Raab and Karl Nehammer are being presented in the media as potential prime ministers. As for the Greens, for potential ministers, Leonore Gewessler, Eva Blimlinger, Rudolf Anschober, Astrid Rössler, Alma Zadić and Walter Geyer are the names most mentioned in the media.

One of the hottest topics is the expectation of having a woman politician as a minister of defense for the first time.

It is expected that Kurz and Kogler will announce the council of ministers around Jan. 2 or Jan. 3. After that, President Alexander Van der Bellen will meet the prime ministers one by one.

Once both parties, in their respective authorized agencies, have approved the government program by Jan. 7, the end of January or the beginning of February will see the "turquoise-green federal government," which will be a new model of government for both Austria and Europe, become a reality.

In such circumstances, the only thing left for us to say is "congratulations" in hope that the new government will be beneficial for Austria, Europe and Turkey-Austria relations.

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