• Short Summary

    The Austrian electorate will go to the polls on October 10th in the second general election to be held in two years.

  • Description

    The Austrian electorate will go to the polls on October 10th in the second general election to be held in two years.

    This film, from cameraman Sepp Riff in Austria, shows parts of the campaign by leaders of the two strongest parties.

    SYNOPSIS: Austrians on Sunday go to the polls in a general election for the first time in less than two years. In the final week before voting, leaders of the major political parties have been touring the country side to win the rural voters.

    In the last parliament, the Socialist Party led by the Chancellor, Doctor Bruno Kreisky, formed a minority government. But with the help of the Freedom Party it still managed to push through a number of important pieces of legislation. But now, Dr. Kreisky wants a wider mandate.

    This was why he dissolved Parliament two and a half years ahead of time. This year, Dr. Kreisky is aiming more at the younger voters than before. He has stressed their importance in most of his election speeches. The other parties are wooing the young, too. Each has made a number of promises towards young married couples. In fact the People's Party, with seventy-eight seats in the previous parliament, accused the government of stealing its ideas. The party originally offered a substantial cash grant to help newly wed couples. The government topped the bid and evoked complaints of plagiarism.

    Legislation passed in the last parliament included a cut of from nine to six months in the period of national service, higher family allowances, a minimum paid holiday for blue collar workers and some taxation relief. The Austrian Schilling has been revalued for the first time in its history. Austria at present is enjoying the highest rate of economic growth in the world after Japan. But there have been warnings about inflation. Prices have risen substantially.

    The People's Party, which ruled Austria for twenty five years until the last election, says the Socialist government has failed totally.

    Some observers say the People's Party has not had time to get used to an opposition role and they are hopeful of winning an outright majority at the polls. Observers say the election could go either way. In fact, the weather could tip the scales. They say if it is fine the Socialists stand to gain but if there is a cold snap they could stand to lose many badly needed votes. The state of the parties in the last parliament was Socialists 81 seats, People's Party 78 and Freedom Party six seats.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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