A Politician’s Income on Public Display

13 11 2007

Photo: Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (left) and Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer at a press conference on October 31, 2007.

On Nov. 10, the debate seemed over. As indicated in my recent blog entry ‘Cash Off as Usual‘, I reported on the unwillingness of either of the large parties, SPÖ or ÖVP to change procedures for a glimpse of transparency, rejecting calls of Austrian MPs to declare their additional sources of income (Nebeneinkünfte) and other political and economic affiliations in the internet. However, in a dramatic U-turn, the Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (Socialdemocrats) declared in a public appeal on Nov. 12 that Socialdemocratic MPs have nothing to hide and would be required to publish their additional sources of income. This is, of course, a voluntary nevertheless welcoming step by Austria’s largest party in a growing polarized public debate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cash Off as Usual – Austrian Parliamentarians Hide Additional Earnings Still

11 11 2007

Photo: For President of the Austrian Parliament, Barbara Prammer, catching a chicken seems evidently easier than having her colleagues agree to publish their additional sources of income.

This time, the debate – or better non-debate – was short-lived: On Oct. 29, 2007, First President of the Austrian Parliament, Barbara Prammer (Socialdemocrats), presented her ideas of improving the parliamentary debates and reforming internal procedures. Among the suggestions voiced was the mandatory registration and publication of MPs additional sources of income (German: Nebeneinkünfte) and make them accessible to the general public via Internet. Prammer referenced the German model, where Members of the German Bundestag have to publish a detailed account in their biographies on the website of the parliament.

Read the rest of this entry »