Michael Ludwig warns the guys: no more “trials”.

In a “profile” interview, Vienna's mayor criticized recent strong statements by his own party colleagues. “Be careful not to burn any bridges you need after the election”.

Vienna's mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) has called for a “new political culture”. In an interview in the current “Profile” he also blamed Federal President Andreas Popler and ÖGB boss Wolfgang Katzion for their language. As a rule, Ludwig asserted, “extensions” are “unhelpful.” Election campaigning is “pointy”, “but you have to be careful not to burn any bridges you need after the election”.

Popler described the “Austrian plan” and ÖVP leader Chancellor Karl Nehhammer's speech as “reversal”. During wage negotiations in the autumn, ÖGB metalworking leader Reinhold Binder sat people down with the announcement that employers could “go away” with a one-time payment.

No coalition government

This has met with opposition from Ludwig, who recently sees a grand alliance as a preferable option. “One must not get lost in party-political hiccups,” said Ludwig; “A certain basis of trust between democratic parties” is essential when it comes to coalitions. “So it's important not to burn all the bridges before the election, but to think about where there might be compromise options.” It's about credibility, said the Vienna SPÖ leader, “No one should reject coalitions, then the election but come in.”

Asked whether Poplar's alliance with the ÖVP was wrong if it was against property taxes, Ludwig insisted: “The SPÖ only rejects an alliance with the FPÖ.” The Freedom Party is leading in the polls. For months, Ludwig was convinced that the SPÖ had a “real chance” of coming first in the National Council elections. “But we have to work together to achieve this. There was room for improvement last year.” Ludwig assured that he would do his part to ensure unity – “SBI opponents are not in his own party.” (Red./APA)

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